Nirav Modi: more assets to be seized, official fugitive status sought
As the jewellery tycoon Nirav Modi remains away from India during the investigation into his accused fraud, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) will seek to confiscate more of his assets and officially label him a fugitive.
The ED will ask permission from a special court in Mumbai to immediately confiscate around Rs 7,000 crore ($1 billion) of assets from Modi. The move will come under the recently passed law, the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance. The ED is also expected to seek permission to officially label Modi a “fugitive” based the charge-sheet filed by the ED on May 24 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in Mumbai. This will also move along any extradition procedure as Modi is believed to be in the US currently.
The ED’s charge-sheet accused 24 people of fraud at the Punjab National Bank (PNB) including Modi, Mehul Choksi, and other relatives and is filed under Section 45 of the PMLA. The charge-sheet, which totals 12,000 pages, will be seen by the Mumbai court on May 29.
The ED has also named Modi’s brother Nehal Modi in the charge-sheet, although he was previously not seen as a suspect by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Nehal has been accused by investigators of taking 50kg of gold jewellery from a safe house in Dubai after hearing about the CBI’s case against Nirav Modi and thus being part of the same money laundering scheme.
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