इंडियन आवाज़     26 Sep 2023 07:28:14      انڈین آواز

Govt suspends validity of passports of Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi 4 weeks

CBI conducts searches against Gitanjali group


MEAThe government today suspended the validity of passports of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi with immediate effect for a period of four weeks. They are accused in the PNB fraud case. External Affairs Ministry took the decision on the advice of the Enforcement Directorate.

MEA in a release said, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi have been asked to respond within one week as to why their passports should not be impounded or revoked. It said, if they fail to respond within the stipulated time it will be assumed that they have no response to offer and the MEA will go ahead with the revocation.

In a statement, the Ministry said, if they fail to respond within the stipulated time it will be assumed that they have no response to offer and the MEA will go ahead with the revocation.

Enforcement Directorate, ED had sought revocation of passports of billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi and his business partner Mehul Choksi in connection with the PNB scam. Officials said the ED had written a letter to the External Affairs Ministry in this regard.

The Enforcement Directorate yesterday conducted searches at several places linked to Nirav Modi in Mumbai, NIRAV MODIDelhi and Gujarat, and seized diamond, jewellery and gold worth 5,100 crore rupees.

The raids came after the agency filed a 280-crore rupees money laundering case against Nirav Modi, his wife Ami, brother Nishal and Mehul Choksi on Wednesday, following a complaint by Punjab National Bank. Five properties belonging to Nirav Modi and the other accused in Mumbai were sealed by the agency.

The ED has filed the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act after going through a CBI FIR registered early this month. The ED today issued summons against Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi in connection with its money laundering probe in the 11,400 crore rupees fraud in Punjab National Bank. According to officials, both Nirav Modi and Choksi were summoned under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and asked to depose within a week’s time.

The notices were handed over to the directors of the firms of the two businessmen as they were not in the country. While Nirav Modi runs the jewellery brand chain under his name, Choksi is the promoter of Gitanjali Gems. The ED has registered a PMLA case against them and others based on a CBI FIR which was the result of a PNB complaint.

Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is conducting searches today against Gitanjali group of companies at 20 places in six cities in five states.

Searches are at locations belonging to Gitanjali group of Mehul Choksi, other directors of the accused companies and plants, offices and factories and residences.

Searches are being conducted in Mumbai, Pune, Surat, Jaipur, Hyderabad and Coimbatore. Three companies of Choksi named in FIR are Gitanjali Gems, Gili India and Nakshatra Brand limited.

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