PNB Scam: Nirav Modi’s assets worth Rs 637 crore seized by ED

Fugitive jeweler Nirav Modi’s assets worth Rs. 637 crore in India and abroad have been seized by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday. The seizure includes- High-priced jewellery, immovable properties and bank accounts worth hundreds of crores have been taken over by investigators in India and four other countries including UK and New York under Section 5 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The is a rare case where the investigation agencies have seized the properties abroad.

The Enforcement Directorate’s seizer features diamond studded jewellery worth Rs. 22.69 crore which was brought back to India from Hong Kong in 23 shipments. The stock of jewellery had been shipped abroad after the CBI filed the first FIR against the celebrity jeweler in January.

It had allegedly been stored in the vault of a private company in Hong Kong on behalf of Nirav Modi. The Enforcement Directorate says, “it was able to persuade the company to help bring the jewellery back to India.” The stock value of the jewellery was declared around Rs. 85 crores but an independent valuation brought it down to around Rs. 22.7 crores.

Two immovable properties worth $29.99 million or Rs. 216 Crores in New York’s Central Park area have been seized. The apartments were purchased in the name of The Ithaca Trust for $25 million and 4.99 million. The beneficiary of “The Ithaca Trust” is Ami Modi (Nirav Modi’s wife) and her children, while the settler of the trust is Nirav Modi’s sister Purvi.

Apart from diamond-studded jewellery, the ED has also seized a flat in south Mumbai worth 19.5 Crore which was purchased by Nirav Modi’s sister Purvi Modi in the year 2017, an account belonging to an investment company.

Rs. 278 crores in five accounts have been seized by ED. These accounts belonged to Nirav Modi, Purvi Modi and their companies.

According to the investigators, the money swindled from PNB, was layered extensively and kept tied up in multiple jurisdictions like Dubai, Bahamas, USA, Singapore.

During the investigation, it came to light that most of the money was transferred to these accounts after the scam surfaced.