Desperate to collect his valuables and funds lying in different countries, absconding jeweller Nirav Modi was trying to dispose of his diamonds and pearls in Hong Kong worth Rs 22.7 crore. But his attempt has been thwarted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) which forced Modi’s Hong Kong agent to send the diamonds and pearls to India. Nirav had sent Nehal Modi, his US-based stepbrother, to handle the Hong Kong agent who was in charge of the jewels. But the agent supported the ED and sent the valuables back to India after stating that the “receiver was not traceable”, according to reports.
Nirav has been absconding since the alleged PNB bank fraud, by far the highest in the country in terms of value, came to light early this year and an Interpol arrest warrant was recently notified against him even as India is working to get him extradited from the United Kingdom, where he was last reported to have been based. The ED has attached assets worth Rs 700 crore of Nirav Modi and his family in the country till now. It has also filed a charge sheet against him alleging that he laundered and diverted over Rs 6,400 crore of bank funds abroad to dummy companies that were under his and his families’ control.
Nirav Modi is being probed under various criminal laws after the fraud came to light this year following a complaint by the Punjab National Bank that they allegedly cheated the nationalised bank to the tune of over Rs 13,000 crore, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank.