Investigations intensify in PNB scam

PTI
Monday, 19 February 2018

New Delhi: At least 200 shell firms and benami assets have come under the scanner of the investigative agencies that are probing the Rs 11,400-crore alleged fraud at the Punjab National Bank (PNB), involving diamond czar Nirav Modi, his relative and business partner Mehul Choksi and others.

New Delhi: At least 200 shell firms and benami assets have come under the scanner of the investigative agencies that are probing the Rs 11,400-crore alleged fraud at the Punjab National Bank (PNB), involving diamond czar Nirav Modi, his relative and business partner Mehul Choksi and others.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is also moving to attach at least two dozen immovable properties under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). “As many as 29 properties -- of Modi, his family members and companies -- that have been provisionally attached by the Income Tax department, are being assessed by the ED under the PMLA. A few more assets will be attached soon under the anti-money laundering law,” a senior ED official said.

It is suspected that the shell firms were being used by the accused to launder money and create benami assets in the form of land, gold and precious stones, which is now being probed by the tax department. Both the ED and the I-T Department had formed special teams to investigate the case, sources said. The ED has seized diamonds, gold jewellery and other precious stones worth Rs 5,674 crore till now in the case.

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