A Special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai on July 26 has summoned absconding jeweler Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi in connection with the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case of over Rs 13,000 crore and has asked them to appear before the court on September 25 and 26 respectively or be declared Fugitive Economic Offenders.
Acting on a plea by the Enforcement Directorate in the PNB fraud case Nirav has been asked to appear before the special PMLA court on September 25 while Choksi is ordered to appear on September 26.
ED had recently moved the court seeking to declare the diamond traders as ‘fugitive economic offenders’ and to confiscate their assets worth Rs 3,500 crore regarding the case.
PMLA Court move comes in the backdrop of reports that prime accused of PNB fraud case Choksi had moved to Antigua from the United States and got a local passport.
Under the new Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018, a fugitive economic offender is defined as “a person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued in respect of a scheduled offence and who has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution, or being abroad, refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution”.