New Delhi: The enforcement directorate seized properties worth Rs 147.72 crore from fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi and his companies on Tuesday, officials said.
The attached movable and immovable property is located in Mumbai and Surat in Gujarat, and has a market value of Rs 147,72,86,651. The properties include eight cars; factory and machinery; jewelry shipments; paintings and some buildings, they said.
The properties are owned by Modi, who is an accused of the more than Rs 13,000 crore PNB scam, and his group of companies namely Firestar Diamond International Private Limited, Firestar International Private Limited, Radheshir Jewelry Company Private Limited and Rhythm House Private Limited , an official said.
The properties were seized by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under the Money Laundering Prevention Act (PMLA), 2002.
Investigations revealed that substantial crime proceeds fraudulently obtained by the Punjab National Bank (PNB) Nirav Modi group of companies Solar Exports, Stellar Diamonds and Diamond RUS were diverted to him, his family members and entities controlled by him.
Based on an FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation, the ED had previously registered a money laundering case against Modi and others under the terms of the PMLA on Feb. 15 last year, another official said.
It was alleged that Modi and others committed the offense of defrauding PNB in concert with certain bank officials by fraudulently issuing a Letter of Undertaking without following the prescribed procedure, and causing an unfair loss to the bank.
Several properties in India and abroad, totaling up to Rs 1,725.36 crore, were also seized earlier. In addition, gold, diamonds, bullion, jewelry and other valuables worth Rs 489.75 crore belonging to Nirav Modi Group were also seized.
The official said charges have been filed against Modi and others for money laundering in this case.