21 more PNB fraud-related raids, property worth Rs 5,674 cr seized so far: ED

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New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday conducted raids at 21 more places across India and seized assets worth Rs 25 crore in connection with the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, an official said.

“The ED conducted further searches at 21 locations across India in the Nirav Modi case and seized diamonds, gold, precious stones and jewellery worth Rs 25 crore (book value). The total seizures till now in the case is Rs 5,674 crore,” ED spokesman Anil Rawal told IANS.

The agency on Friday had conducted searches at 35 locations in connection with the fraud involving around Rs 11,300 crore and seized diamonds, gold and jewellery worth Rs 549 crore.

The ED on Thursday registered an FIR under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and conducted raids after surfacing of the alleged fraud by billionaire diamond trader Nirav Modi and his Mumbai-based firms — Diamonds R Us, Solar Exports, and Stellar Diamonds.

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Six properties in Mumbai belonging to the jeweller were also sealed.

The action is based on a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) case registered against Nirav Modi on Wednesday in connection with a fraud involving Rs 6,498 crore.

The CBI on Thursday registered fresh FIRs against 10 directors of the Gitanjali Group of companies on charges of criminal conspiracy and cheating under the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act, including Mehul Choksi, the Managing Director of Gitanjali Gems Ltd based in Mumbai’s Walkeshwar.

The FIR also named two former bank employees said to be directly involved in the fraudulent transactions.

Additionally, three companies of Gitanjali Group were also named in the CBI FIR for defrauding Rs 4,886.72 crore.

–IANS

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