PNB fraud: ED gets court nod to go after Nirav Modi in 6 countries

The investigating agencies are expected to seek the help of foreign governments to arrest the alleged kingpin of the Rs11,300-crore fraud committed on state-run Punjab National Bank as Nirav Modi, his wife Ami and his uncle Choksi  have so far failed to appear before the Enforcement Directorate in Mumbai.

If Modi fails to appear before the ED, the agency is likely to move a special court in Mumbai seeking non-bailable arrest warrants against them.

The agency on Monday obtained the court's nod to issue six Letters Rogatories (LRs) - judicial requests for obtaining information from overseas locations – in its probe against Modi.

The LRs will be sent through the home ministry to countries such as Hong Kong, the US, the UK, the UAE, South Africa and Singapore.

The Enforcement Directorate, meanwhile, has summoned Punjab National Bank's managing director and CEO Sunil Mehta in connection with the Rs11,400 crore scam allegedly involving diamantaire Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, owner of Gitanjali Gems.

The ED on Monday also examined the state-owned bank's executive director K V Brahmaji Rao to unravel the story behind the fraudulent dealings that now seems to have pervaded the entire banking system.

The RD officials are expected to question Mehta also this week, officials said, adding that these officials are not being examined as accused.

The CBI had examined the two senior PNB officials last week in the same case.

The kingpin in the scam Nirav Modi, his wife Ami and his uncle Choksi , however, did not appear before the Enforcement Directorate in Mumbai.

If Modi fails to appear before the ED, the agency is likely to move a special court in Mumbai seeking non-bailable arrest warrants against them.

The agency on Monday also obtained the court's nod to issue six Letters Rogatories (LRs), judicial requests for obtaining information from overseas locations, pertaining to its probe against Modi.

The agency is expected to obtain more such LRs in this case.

The LRs will be sent through the home ministry to countries such as Hong Kong, the US, the UK, the UAE, South Africa and Singapore.

The attempt of sending these judicial requests for exchange of information is aimed at obtaining the details of the overseas financial holdings of Modi and Choksi and also their bank accounts, assets, partnerships, showrooms, trusts and other assets, the officials said.

The total assets seized by the ED in this case is now over Rs6,393 crore, officials said, adding that this was being independently valued.

The CBI and the ED have registered separate FIRs against Modi and Choski who have reportedly left the country before criminal cases were lodged against them.