173 paintings,11 vehicles of Nirav Modi to be auctioned

Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi. File photo

Investigative agencies will auction 173 paintings and 11 vehicles "beneficially owned" by fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi after a special court in Mumbai on Wednesday granted them permission, officials said.

The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court also issued a non-bailable warrant against his wife Ami after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) recently filed a supplementary charge sheet underlining her role in the USD 2 billion PNB scam, they said.

The ED and the Income Tax Department will soon auction 173 paintings, of which Modi is a beneficial owner, which are valued at Rs 57.72 crore and eleven vehicles that include high-end models of Rolls Royce, Porsche, Mercedes and Toyota Fortuner, the officials said.

The ED said the paintings belong to Ms Camelot Enterprises Pvt Ltd and were seized by the tax department as part of their probe to recover I-T dues of Rs 95.91 crore.

It added that Modi and his shell firm (Camelot) are the beneficial owners of these paintings.

The tax department approached the court to allow it to auction 68 paintings out of the lot and the court allowed it to do so on the basis of ED's 'no objection' as it had attached them under the PMLA, the officials said.

The rest of the paintings will be auctioned by the ED, they added.

The officials said a public auction will be held to sell the paintings and the vehicles later this month and the amount obtained will be deposited in the government exchequer.

Modi was arrested by the Scotland Yard from the Holborn area of London on Wednesday. 

The ED and the CBI are investigating Modi, his uncle Mehul Choksi and others for alleged money laundering and corruption to perpetrate the alleged scam in the Brady House branch of the PNB in Mumbai that was unearthed last year.

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173 paintings,11 vehicles of Nirav Modi to be auctioned

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