ED HOPES NIRAV, CHOKSI’S REAL ESTATE MAY YIELD RS 3K-RS 4K CR
Saturday, 24 February 2018 | Rajesh Kumar | New Delhi-
Billionaire diamond jeweller Nirav Modi and his maternal uncle Mehul Choksi, who duped the PNB of Rs 11,400 crore, have major investment in real estate. While Nirav owns 29 real estate properties across Surat, Nasik, Mumbai and Pune, Geetanjali Group promoter Choksi has four SEZs and two malls and half-a-dozen flats. The estimated value of these assets is believed to be around Rs 3,000-Rs 4,000 crore.
Officials said Nirav’s properties include a palatial residential house in Kurla, his jewellery boutique in Kala Ghoda area, three company locations in Bandra and Lower Parel, three premises in Surat in Gujarat and Nirav’s showrooms in Chanakyapuri and Defence Colony in Delhi.
According to ED sources, it has identified all the properties and 114-related companies of Nirav, his wife Ami and Choksi in India.
The Government is looking to attach movable and immovable assets of these companies. These companies have fewer assets compared to the loans taken from banks. But, the companies largely have dealings in diamonds, finance and real estate.
Besides, ED, CBI and I-T department have started a probe in a string of Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) firms created by Nirav and his uncle Choksi in the PNB fraud case. The agencies are investigating whether or not the web of these LLP firms that Nirav and Choksi used to run over the last two decades were used to funnel black money.
The ED also hoped to recover Rs 3,000-4,000 crore from properties of Nirav and Choksi. This is in addition to the diamonds and precious stones seized by the ED, valued at Rs 5,816 crore by Gitanjali Gems. As per the assessment of income tax paid, ED believes Choksi and Modi collectively own properties worth up to Rs 4,000 crore.
The ED on Friday said it had frozen Nirav Modi’s bank account and shares worth Rs 43 crore. The seizure include Rs 30 crore in bank, and shares of Rs 13.86 crore value held in a company owned by Modi and Choksi. The ED also seized 176 steel almirahs and 60 plastic containers containing imported watches.
The CBI raided his Mumbai-based Kamala Mills firm and seized incriminating documents in the case.
The ED has also sent all seized diamonds to a laboratory for assessing their value. Along with that, ED has sought a report from the Income Tax Department detailing Nirav Modi’s properties. The ED has summoned Modi’s wife Ami, an American citizen, for questioning on February 26 even as the agency froze bank deposits and shares worth about Rs 44 crore of the diamantaire.
The Income Tax Department attached 144 bank accounts of the Gitanjali group having deposits worth Rs 20.26 crore.
Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry has written to Hong Kong branches of the State Bank of India, Axis Bank, Allahabad Bank and Bank of India that got letters of undertaking (LoUs) from the PNB and told them to reconcile accounts and check for irregularities. The Finance Ministry has also directed all banks to reconcile issued LoUs.
In a related development, the Government has moved the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to attach all the properties owned by Modi and Choksi as well as to attach all assets of around 114 companies owned or controlled by them.
On the other hand, the CBI also questioned two general managers and deputy general managers of the PNB Brady House Branch in Mumbai.
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