ED seeks LRs to probe Nirav Modi's overseas biz, assets

MUMBAI: The Enforcement Directorate investigating the over Rs 11,000-crore PNB fraud case on Monday approached a Mumbai court docket searching for issuance of Letters Rogatory (LRs) for obtaining details about the overseas companies and belongings of diamantaire Nirav Modi.

"It is an application for issuance of LR under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for recovery/seizure of proceeds of crime and collection of documents, evidence lying in Hongkong, USA, UK, UAE, South Africa and Singapore which are required in connection with the investigation," the ED mentioned in its plea ahead of the PMLA court docket.

Letters Rogatory are a request from a court docket of a sovereign country to a court docket of every other sovereign country.

Judge M S Azmi lately heard the arguments of special public prosecutor Hiten Venegaonkar.

The ED advised the court docket that Nirav Modi established various companies, together with Diamond R US, Solar Exports, Stellar Diamond, Firestar Diamond, and became an built-in diamond producer who bought rough diamonds, sold polished ones and other stones and likewise designed jewellery.

His trade consisted of buying and selling in rough and polished diamonds, non-public label jewellery manufacturing and sale in the title and magnificence of 'Nirav Modi' and 'Firestars' as well as production of unlabelled jewellery for 3rd parties, the ED mentioned.

"He spread his business operations in various countries, including Hongkong, USA, UK, UAE, South Africa and Singapore. He had apparently got issued multiple high value Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) in favour of his firms/ companies from Punjab National bank which resulted in disbursement of funds as per the SWIFT messages sent by PNB," the ED mentioned in its plea ahead of the court docket.

"It was later found by the bank that the same were issued fraudulently since there was no record of the said LoUs in the bank's records", it mentioned.

SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) is a messaging community for securely transmitting directions for all financial transactions via a standardised device of codes.

The ED mentioned that by means of this prison act of cheating and conspiracy, the accused generated huge proceeds of crime amounting to Rs 6,498 crore which were siphoned off by means of them and thereby laundered and amalgamated in mainstream financial device to project it as untainted belongings.

"Certain part of the proceeds of crime involved in money laundering are reasonably believed to be parked in (countries abroad)," the applying mentioned.

On January 31, the CBI had registered an FIR in opposition to Nirav Modi, his firms, and diamond jeweller Mehul Choksi. Later, the ED additionally started its probe.

The CBI has so far arrested Vipul Ambani, the president (finance) of Nirav Modi's Fire Star Diamond, Kavita Mankikar (executive assistant and approved signatory of 3 companies -- Diamond R US, Stellar Diamond, Solar Exports), Arjun Patil (senior executive, Firestar group) and Rajesh Jindal, the then head of the Brady House branch of PNB.

The others arrested are: Bechhu Tiwari, the then leader supervisor in the Forex division of PNB, Yashwant Joshi, the Scale II supervisor in the Forex division, Praful Sawant, the Scale-I officer handling the exports section, Gokulnath Shetty, the then deputy supervisor (now retired) of PNB, Manoj Kharat, a unmarried window operator of PNB, and Hemant Bhat, the approved signatory of Nirav Modi's company.

Among the ones arrested in reference to Choksi's companies are Nakshatra group and Gitanjali group CFO Kapil Khandelwal and Gitanjali group supervisor Niten Shahi.

The FIR had listed 8 fraudulent transactions price over Rs 280 crore, but in keeping with further proceedings from the financial institution, the CBI mentioned the quantum of quantity in the first FIR is over Rs 6,498 crore, involving 150 LoUs allegedly issued fraudulently by means of Shetty and Kharat.

The closing 150 fraudulent LoUs price over Rs 4,886 crore issued for Gitanjali group of companies have been a part of the second FIR registered earlier this month by means of the company in opposition to Choksi and his firms Gitanjali Gems, Nakshatra Brands and Gili.
ED seeks LRs to probe Nirav Modi's overseas biz, assets ED seeks LRs to probe Nirav Modi's overseas biz, assets Reviewed by kailash soni on February 26, 2018 Rating: 5
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