The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a money laundering case in connection with the Rs 280-crore cheating of Punjab National Bank (PNB) allegedly by diamantaire Nirav Modi and others, on the basis of a CBI FIR.
Official sources said the agency filed the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after going through a CBI FIR filed early this month.
It is understood that the ED also went through the PNB complaint that was made out against Modi and others.
The agency, they said, would probe if the allegedly defrauded bank funds were laundered and these proceeds of crime were subsequently used by the accused to create illegal assets and black money.
The CBI had booked diamond merchant Nirav Modi, his brother, wife and a business partner for allegedly cheating PNB of over Rs 280.70 crore in 2017.
It had also raided the residence of Modi, his brother Nishal, wife Ami and Mehul Chinubhai Choksi, all partners of Diamond R US, Solar Exports and Stellar Diamonds and two bank officials — Gokulnath Shetty (now retired) and Manoj Kharat, who were also named in the FIR as accused.
Modi (46), who had figured in the Forbes’ list of richest Indians, has been booked by the CBI for cheating after PNB sent a complaint to it alleging that the jewellery firm owner, his brother, wife and Choksi entered into a criminal conspiracy with the officials of the bank and cheated it, causing a “wrongful loss”.
“The public servants committed abuse of official position to cause pecuniary advantage to Diamond R US, Solar Exports, Stellar Diamonds and a wrongful loss of Rs 280.70 crore to Punjab National Bank during 2017,” the CBI FIR has alleged.
The bank had also alleged in the complaint that a fraudulent issuance of Letters of Undertakings (LOU) took place on January 16, 2018 for and on behalf of the accused firms, which approached the bank and presented a set of import documents to the branch with a request to allow buyers’ credit for making payment to overseas suppliers.
Today, the CBI received two fresh complaints from PNB against Modi and a jewellery company alleging fraudulent transactions worth about Rs 11,400 crore. The bank had also intimated stock exchange BSE about the “fraudulent and unauthorised” transactions worth over USD 1771.69 million in one of its branches in Mumbai.