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Nirav Modi flees to London reportedly to seek political asylum: Ten things to know about the PNB scam case against him

Both Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi involved in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank fraud case left India in January, a few weeks before the scam at PNB broke. While their passports are suspended, the duo remain untraceable

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: June 11, 2018 10:21:10 am
Nirav Modi flees to London reportedly to seek political asylum: Ten things you should know about the case Diamond jeweller Nirav Modi has reportedly sought political asylum in the UK

Diamond jeweller Nirav Modi involved in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud has allegedly fled to the UK, where he is reportedly claiming political asylum, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing Indian and British officials.

The Ministry of External Affairs told the FT that the Indian government was waiting for that country’s law enforcement agencies to approach them before pushing for an extradition, which had thus far not happened. The Enforcement Directorate has also issued summons to diamantaire Nirav Modi and his family members to join the investigations. Here is all you need to know about the case

1. The Punjab National Bank in February this year revealed that it had detected fraudulent transactions worth Rs 11,000 crore in a south Mumbai corporate branch, involving firms promoted by jeweller Nirav Modi. On January 29, Nirav Modi’s family and his maternal uncle Mehul Choksi were booked by the CBI for money laundering and cheating. Both had, however, left India a few weeks before the scam at PNB broke.

Read | PNB scam timeline: How India’s biggest ever banking fraud unfolded

2. After the FIR was registered against Modi and Choksi, the MEA suspended the passports of the duo.

3. The CBI conducted raids at multiple locations in connection with the cases against Modi and Choksi and seized jewellery and gold worth crores of rupees. The raids reportedly revealed that money was allegedly withdrawn from offshore accounts of various banks not only through issuance of fresh LoUs from PNB but even renewal of old ones – an illegal activity, according to investigators.

Read | Nirav Modi’s five dummy firms in Hong Kong whose owners earned Rs 8,000 got Rs 8,000 crore LoUs

4. The CBI in its first chargesheet against Modi and Choksi named 25 accused, including Usha Ananthasubramanian, MD & CEO of Allahabad Bank, who was a former CEO of PNB; two Executive Directors of PNB Brahmaji Rao and Sanjeev Sharan, and a General Manager, Nehal Ahad, besides Nirav Modi’s three firms Stellar Diamonds, Solar Exports and Diamond R’ US. Nirav Modi and his brother Nishal have been shown as wanted accused in the chargesheet.

Read | Who is Nirav Modi?

5. Non-Bailable Warrant (NBW)s were also issued against Modi and Choksi after they failed to join the CBI investigation despite summons issued to them.

6. The ED provisionally attached Nirav Modi’sassets worth over Rs 170 crore under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in connection with the scam. It also attached 108 bank accounts of Modi, his brother Nishal and their firms in various private and public sector and co-operative banks. The ED has also provisionally attached 11 vehicles worth Rs 4.01 crore owned by Modi’s firms.

7. The ED said Modi created over 15 “dummy companies” overseas to allegedly rotate the LoU funds “in the guise of export-import transactions”. In its complaint, the ED claimed that Modi and some of his associates used to “communicate dubious transaction instructions” to these dummy firms through accounts that got automatically deleted after a certain period of time.

Read | Inside the PNB fraud: What an LoU is, how case may impact the bank

8. The ED has also sent requests to the Interpol for issuance of red corner notices (RCN) against Modi and Choksi. The RCN will allow enforcement agencies of the member countries of Interpol to try to find and arrest them in their respective countries.

9. Earlier reports suggested Modi was infact in Hong Kong. The MEA had also added that India has submitted a request to Hong Kong authorities for provisional arrest of Nirav Modi.

10. The PNB scam had also rocked Parliament, resulting in the complete washout of the Budget Session. The Opposition had repeatedly attacked the Centre over the multi-crore fraud.

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