File photo: Nirav Modi Photograph:( Zee News Network )
Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi were allegedly involved in over 13,000 crore PNB bank fraud which was unearthed at the Brady House branch in Mumbai.
The Enforcement Directorate(ED) has attached Nirav Modi's assets and valuables worth Rs 255 crore in Hong Kong in the Punjab National Bank(PNB) fraud case.
The agency said it has issued a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for attachment of these assets.
"The said valuables were exported through 26 shipments by Dubai based companies of Nirav Modi to the Hong Kong-based companies controlled by him after the registration of the case (PNB money laundering) in India," it said.
These valuables, diamonds and jewellery were lying in a logistics company vault in Hong Kong, the agency said.
"Details like value, consignee, shipper, ownership among others of these shipments were obtained during the investigation and after gathering the evidence of ownership and value of the goods, the same have been attached," it said.
The value of the attached assets is $34.97 million or about Rs 255 crore at present, it said.
The ED had earlier attached properties and bank accounts worth Rs 637 crore belonging to Nirav Modi in India and four other countries including UK and US. The enforcement agency had also attached five overseas bank accounts worth 278 crores and placed it under section 5 of the Prevention of Money laundering Act.
Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi were allegedly involved in over 13,000 crore PNB bank fraud in February which was unearthed at the Brady House branch in Mumbai. The Indian diamond merchant later slipped out of India as the scam was uncovered.
The Chief Judicial Magistrate of Surat had declared Nirav Modi as an "absconder" in a case filed against him by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) for allegedly evading customs duty on import of diamonds and pearls. The Chief Judicial Magistrate had issued an arrest warrant against Modi on June 22.
As he was not available at his known addresses, the court proclaimed the fugitive jeweller as an absconder.
While Choksi is believed to be in Antigua but Nirav Modi's whereabouts have been unkown although reports have indicated that he may be in the United Kingdom. Last month, the CBI had moved an extradition request against Nirav Modi's brother Nishal Modi who is believed to be in Belgium.
Nishal is accused of creating dummy partners and is believed to be a beneficiary of funds syphoned off from Punjab National Bank by Nirav Modi.
Last month, the Interpol had issued a Red Corner Notice(RCN) against Nirav Modi's sister Purvi Modi in connection with the Punjab National Bank scam. She is the third person against whom the international agency has flagged a notice in the PNB scam.