PNB fraud: ED freezes Rs 44cr assets of Nirav Modi group; summons wife

PNB fraud: ED freezes Rs 44cr assets of Nirav Modi group; summons wife

PNB fraud: ED freezes Rs 44cr assets of Nirav Modi group; summons wife

Expanding its probe into the alleged PNB fraud, the ED today summoned Nirav Modi's wife Ami for questioning even as the agency froze bank deposits and shares worth about Rs 44 crore of the diamantaire. The Enforcement Directorate(ED) also seized a huge collection of imported watches from a workshop location linked to the billionaire diamond jewellery businessman.

The ED officials said they have put fresh freeze orders on bank accounts containing Rs 30 crore and shares worth Rs 13.86 crore of the Nirav Modi group under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Besides summoning Modi's wife Ami, an American citizen, the central probe agency has called his uncle and Gitanjali Gems promoter Mehul Choksi for questioning in the case on February 26 at the ED office in Mumbai, they said.

Modi, who failed to keep his date for questioning yesterday, has also been issued summons to appear before the agency on the same day.

The agency seized a large collection of imported watches, 176 steel almirahs, 158 corrugated boxes and 60 other containers after searches at multiple locations linked to Modi over the last week, officials said.

The ED, yesterday had seized deposits, shares and luxury cars worth over Rs 100 crore from the businesssman and his group.

Fresh summonses were issued yesterday against Modi after he failed to appear before the agency.

Modi had cited the temporary suspension of his passport and pending business issues as reasons for his non-appearance.

The total seizure by the ED in the case is now over Rs 5,870 crore, officials claimed, adding it is being independently valued.

Modi, Choksi and others are being investigated by the ED and other probe agencies after the fraud recently came to light, following a complaint by the Punjab National Bank(PNB) that they allegedly cheated the nationalised bank to the tune of Rs 11,400 crore, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank.

The CBI and the ED have registered two FIRs each to probe the case. Both Modi and Choski are said to have left the country before criminal cases were lodged against them.