ED arrests Mehul Choksi’s aide Deepak Kulkarni at Kolkata airport

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested fugitive jeweller Mehul Choksi’s close associate Deepak Kulkarni from Kolkata on Monday in connection with Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case, officials said.

Deepak Kulkarni was arrested after he landed in Kolkata from Hong Kong. 

Kulkarni was arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and was expected to be produced before a court on Tuesday, the officials said, adding that the ED would seek his transit remand to take him to Mumbai, where the case was registered.

Deepak Kulkarni was the director of Choksi’s dummy firm in Hong Kong, one of the main accused in the case. Earlier a look out circular was issued against him by ED and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). 

ED had last month seized assets worth over Rs 218 crore in the nearly Rs 13,000 crore loan fraud case probe, officials said.

Mehul Choksi, his nephew and diamond jeweller Nirav Modi and others are being investigated under numerous criminal laws after the fraud came to light this year, following a complaint from the PNB that they allegedly cheated the nationalised bank to the tune of over Rs. 13,000 crore, with the purported involvement of some of its employees.

Both Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi are absconding since the case was registered by the ED and CBI.