ED arrests Firestar Group Vice President Shyam Sunder in Nirav Modi fraud case
The Vice President of the Firestar Group, Shyam Sunder, has been arrested by the law enforcement agency Enforcement Division (ED) as part of the Nirav Modi fraud case at the Punjab National Bank (PNB).
On the night of March 27, Sunder was arrested in Mumbai by the ED marking the first actual arrest in the ongoing case. The two main suspects in the case, diamond tycoons Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, are still abroad since fleeing in January before the case broke. The two have refused to come back to India citing business abroad and concerns over their safety.
The arrest was made as Sunder is part of Firestar International and Firestar Diamond International, two businesses owned by Nirav Modi and part of the group of companies implicated in the fraud case at the PNB that is now reported as totalling 13,500 crore rupees (approximately two billion US dollars). Other companies in the group include Diamond R Us, Solar Exports, and Stellar Diamond as well as the group of companies owned by Choksi. Although it is still unclear exactly how the money was moved around by the various companies, ongoing forensic auditing is expected to clear this up in the near future.
On March 24, the ED seized 36 crore rupees (approximately 5.4 million dollars) worth of asset from Modi’s estate in Mumbai. The ED also carried out searches with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as part of a probe into the money trail. A total of 251 searches have been carried out so far.
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