PNB Bank Scam: Nirav Modi declared fugitive economic offender

Nirav Modi (File Image)

A special Prevention of Money Laundering Act court today declared jeweller Nirav Modi as a fugitive economic offender under a new act enabling the Enforcement Directorate to begin confiscating his properties in India, the UK and UAE.

The court will begin hearing on the list of Modi’s properties both in India and abroad that are to be confiscated from December 10.

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Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are the main accused in the PNB scam and they both left India before details of the fraud came to light in January 2018. Nirav Modi was arrested in London in March and his extradition process is pending.

The plea seeking to declare Modi as a fugitive was filed in July last year. The order comes a day after the special Central Bureau of Investigation court issued a proclamation against him asking him to appear before the court within 30 days, starting from December 17.

The fugitive economic offender act is aimed at deterring economic offenders from evading the law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts. The law seeks to expedite the recovery of losses incurred by banks and other entities by confiscating the properties of the offender.

“Bank accounts and shares belonging to Modi and Choksi and companies controlled by them were also frozen. Luxury cars and paintings were also seized,” said an ED officer.

ED had registered two cases of money laundering against Modi and Choksi on the basis of two first information reports (FIR) filed by CBI in January last year.

(With Agency Inputs)

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