By SM.21 Mar, 2019
LONDON: Nirav Modi owned 173 paintings worth nearly Rs. 58 crores and 11 vehicles including a Rolls Royce, Porsche and Mercedes, the Enforcement Directorate said in a statement after the jeweller"s arrest in London on Wednesday, a year after allegations of loan fraud surfaced against him. The paintings and vehicles have been seized and will be sold to raise tax dues, the Enforcement Directorate said.
India has requested the extradition of Nirav Modi over the Rs. 13,000 core bank scam involving fake guarantees put out in the name of state-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) between 2011 and 2017, to secure loans worth crores overseas.
Nirav Modi, his uncle and co-accused Mehul Choksi - also a well-known diamantaire -- and their families fled India in January, a month before the CBI registered a case against the two. Searches resulted in officials seizing valuables, jewellery and paintings worth Rs. 1,600 crores, said the Enforcement Directorate.
But an independent expert assessed that the haul was worth only about Rs. 490 crore.
On the 173 paintings, the directorate said they were "beneficially owned by Nirav Modi through his dummy entity."
Investigators later seized property worth Rs. 962 crore spread across Hong Kong, Switzerland, UK, US, Singapore and UAE.
Nirav Modi"s wife Ami Modi, sister Purvi, brothers Nehal and Neeshal, father Deepak Kumar Modi and cousin Miri Bhansali were also made accused.
A non-bailable warrant has been issued against Ami Modi.
Searching for the runaway celebrity jeweler, the Enforcement Directorate sent requests to Armenia, Belgium, China, France, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, South Africa, UAE, UK, US, Hong Kong, Singapore and Switzerland. Extradition requests were sent to UK, US and Egypt last year, says the Enforcement Directorate.
Sometime earlier this month, Nirav Modi was sighted on the streets of London, looking a little different with a moustache and wearing an extravagant ostrich-hide jacket that caused a sensation on social media.
Based on the Enforcement Directorate"s request, the UK court put out an arrest warrant against Nirav Modi on Monday.