The Enforcement Directorate (ED) said on Monday it has attached foreign properties of fugitive diamond jeweller Nirav Modi worth Rs 637 crore, including two apartments in New Yorks Central Park, in its ongoing investigation into the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case.
A senior ED official said the agency had been working in close coordination with other foreign agencies in order to identify and attach foreign properties of Nirav Modi in various locations.
The attached properties were in the form of jewellery, bank accounts and immovable properties. Among them are two apartments worth Rs 216 crore in New York’s popular Central Park, which are registered in the name of Nirav Modi, the agency said.
Meanwhile, a flat worth Rs 56.97 crore on Marylebone road in London has also been attached, of which the beneficial owner is Nirav Modi’s sister Purvi Modi, a Belgian national.
The agency also attached five bank accounts containing over Rs 278 crore, belonging to Nirav Modi, Purvi and others in the case.
The official said that it had brought diamond jewellery worth Rs 22.69 crore back to India from Hong Kong.
According to the ED, a stock of jewellery was exported to Hong Kong after a case was registered against Nirav Modi by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in January. This was kept in a vault of a private company in Hong Kong on behalf of Nirav Modi.
“The agency contacted the company and its London headquarters and after much persuasion and follow up, it successfully brought back the jewellery to India,” the official said.
He also said that the stock value of the jewellery was around Rs 85 crore and the jewellery was sent to Hong Kong by Firestar Group of Companies. On independent valuation, the value of jewellery came to Rs 22.69 crore.
The ED has also attached a flat in south Mumbai worth Rs 19.5 crore which was in sister Purvi’s name.
The official said the flat was purchased by Purvi in 2017 and the deed was signed by Nirav Nodi’s brother Neeshal, who is also a Belgian national and who held a power of attorney.
“But the consideration of the flat was paid by Purvi through her Barclays Bank account maintained in Singapore,” the official said.
Interpol has issued an Red Corner Notice against Nirav Modi, Neeshal, Purvi and his executive Subhash Parab.
On Monday, Interpol, at the request of the CBI and ED, issued a Red Corner Notice against Nirav Modi’s trusted official, Aditya Nanavati.
Nanavati used to head the operations of Firestar Diamond’s business in Hong Kong. It is learnt that he is also in Belgium.
Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi of Gitanjali Group are under probe by both the CBI and ED. The ED had on May 24 and 26 filed charge-sheets against both. Non-bailable warrants have been issued against them.
Nirav Modi left India before the scam was reported to the CBI.