Accounts worth Rs 283 crores of Nirav Modi, sister Purvi Modi frozen by Swiss authorities !

The troubles seems to be increasing for Nirav Modi, after Swiss authorities have frozen the bank accounts of fugitive diamond merchant having deposit balance of Rs 283.16 crore

The troubles seems to be increasing for Nirav Modi, after Swiss authorities have frozen the bank accounts of fugitive diamond merchant having deposit balance of Rs 283.16 crore combined in four bank accounts in Switzerland.

After the Enforcement Directorate’s request under the Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) Act the swiss authorities decided to freeze the accounts. The request was made on the ground that money was deposited in these bank accounts out of illegal funds siphoned off from Indian banks.

For those who don’t know, Nirav Modi is accused of defrauding state-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) via fraudulent Letters of Undertaking (LoUs). Nirav Modi is in Wandsworth prison, since March this year while his bail pleas have been rejected several times.

Nirav was arrested on the basis of the extradition request of India and a Red Corner notice issued against him on the request of the CBI last year. He is believed to have arrived in London last year and was able to travel in and out of Britain at least four times since his passport was cancelled by the Indian authorities in February 2018.

CBI decries allegations of conspiracy in Mallya, Nirav Modi and Choksi’s India exit

The CBI has denied any wrongdoing in Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi leaving India despite owing banks crores of rupees.

 Facing the heat after three high-profile economic offenders managed to escape the clutches of Indian law and leave for foreign lands, the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) has attempted to defend itself by saying that there is no question of foulplay on its part.

The CBI has been under scrutiny after reported emerged that it had changed a 2015 Look Out Circular against liquor baron Vijay Mallya from ‘detain’ to ‘inform about movement. On Saturday, CBI clarified that at the time when the decision was taken, there were not sufficient grounds for it to detain and arrest him. “Decision was taken at the appropriate level as a part of process and not individually by the officer as alleged,” the CBI said, according to news agency ANI.

While Mallya is accused of owing nearly Rs 9,000 crore to Indian banks, billionaire jewellers Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi too have been charged with defrauding Punjab National Bank of thousands of crores. “CBI received a complaint against Nirav Mod and Mehul Choksi from PNB almost a month after they had left the country. Therefore the question of any CBI officer having any hand in their fleeing the country does not arise,” the investigative agency said.CBI decries allegations of conspiracy in Mallya, Nirav Modi and Choksi’s India exit

PNB scam: Mehul Choksi sends video message from Antigua, says ‘all allegations by ED false and baseless’

Choksi is a diamond jewellery businessman and maternal uncle of Nirav Modi, took the citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda last year.

: A video of absconding jeweller Mehul Choksi from Antigua has appeared in which he is heard saying that the allegations levelled against him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the USD 2 billion PNB money laundering case, are baseless.

Choksi, the maternal uncle of Nirav Modi, took the citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda last year and oath of allegiance to that country on January 15 this year after completing the nationality process.

In the video, captured by news Agency ANI, Choksi further said that the suspension of his passport has been questioned by him but the regional passport authorities are yet to respond to it. All questions by ANI to Choksi were asked by his lawyer in Antigua.

“The passport authorities revoked my passport altogether in view of which I was immobilize. On February 16, I received an email from the passport office which said that my passport has been suspended due to reasons of security threat to India. On February 20, I sent an email to the regional passport office, Mumbai, requesting them to revoke the suspension of my passport. However, I did not receive any reply from the regional passport office,” he said in the video.

The scam pertains to the alleged issuance of fraudulent Letters of Undertaking of more than USD 2 billion to companies of Nirav Modi and Choksi by Punjab National Bank’s Brady House branch during 2011-17, officials said.

An LoU is a guarantee given by an issuing bank to Indian banks with branches abroad to grant short-term credit to the applicant.

Nirav Modi and his companies allegedly availed credit from the overseas branches of Indian banks using the fraudulent PNB guarantees given through LoUs and letters of credit issued by the Brady House branch which were not repaid, bringing the liability on the state-run bank.

Both Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi have refused to join investigation in spite of repeated summons by the agencies to appear for questioning.

Choksi has cited threat to his life, health condition, media bias, and poor jail conditions in his appeal before the Interpol to stall issuance of Red Corner Notice against him.

The issue will now be put before an internal five-member committee of the Interpol which will hear the plea of Choksi and arguments of Indian agencies in October before deciding the issue.