Enforcement Directorate foils Nirav Modi's plan to dispose of jewels in Hong Kong
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) uncovered a plan by the fugitive jeweller Nirav Modi to dispose of diamonds and pearls worth Rs 22.7 crore ($3.4 million) in Hong Kong and the stones have now been returned to India.
As part of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into Nirav Modi following his alleged fraud at the Punjab National Bank (PNB), the ED discovered a plot by Modi to dispose of diamonds and pearls he had left with an agent in Hong Kong. The pearls were valued at Rs 5 lakh (although they had a declared value of Rs 50 crore) and the diamonds were valued at Rs 22.65 crore (with a declared value of Rs 35 crore).
The ED has now attached these stones to its complaint against Modi. The stones were obtained by the ED after a three month-long negotiation. The ED managed to convince the agent in possession of the gems to send them to India instead of to Modi’s US-based step-brother, Nehal Modi, who he had sent to handle to matter.
TNN reported that officials have stated that Modi was attempting to collect his assets in various countries whilst he remains in hiding. Modi had a number of shell companies that he used to launder money in Hong Kong, according to the ED.
Modi left India in January before news of the scandal broke and has not yet returned to appear in court as requested. The ED has registered a money laundering case against Modi and his Uncle Mehul Choksi for reportedly defrauding the PNB out of over Rs 13,500 crore.
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