ED names fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi’s wife Priti Kothari for first time in fraud case
The Enforcement Directorate has named Priti Kothari, wife of fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi, for the first time in its supplementary chargesheet in the alleged Punjab National Bank fraud case.
The ED has stated that it believes that Choksi’s wife Kothari both knew about his alleged crimes, through his jewellery business Gitanjali Gems, and benefitted from them, the Times of India reported. Kothari had previously been summoned during the fraud investigation but she had not come forward, according to the ED. In its latest chargesheet on the matter, Kothari was named alongside her husband and former PNB employee Gokulnath Shetty.
“She [Kothari] was fully aware that all the Gitanjali group companies….were incorporated for beneficial use of Mr Mehul Choksi and the same were beneficially owned and controlled by him,” read the ED’s chargesheet, accessed by the Indian Express. “Her husband Mr Mehul Choksi was involved in defrauding PNB of more than Rs 6,000 crore. During the course of investigation, summons were issued to her at her declared address, but she did not honour the summons. She helped Mr Mehul Choksi in layering the proceeds of crime.”
The ED has named Kothari as an, “abettor of the crime,” and stated that she was an active participant in the alleged money laundering which is a crime under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. According to the ED, the evidence in its chargesheet shows that Kothari was the beneficial owner of the UAE-based company Hillingdon Holdings and used the business as part of a money laundering scheme.
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