The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday said it seized valuables worth over Rs 36 crore of absconding diamond jeweller Nirav Modi in connection with an ongoing probe into the Rs 14,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case. An ED official told IANS that joint searches with the CBI were carried from Thursday to early Saturday at Nirav Modi’s palatial ‘Samudra Mahal’ residence in Mumbai.
The items seized included Rs 10-crore diamond ring, antique jewellery worth Rs 15 crore, high-end watches valued at Rs 1.40 crore, Rs 10 crore-worth paintings by renowned artists including M.F. Hussain, K.K. Hebbar and Amrita Shergil.
The searches were conducted as part of a money trail by the ED and CBI after cases were registered against Nirav Modi and his business partner and uncle Mehul Choksi of the Gitanjali Group for defrauding the banks. Choksi and Nirav Modi fled the country in January around a month before the PNB filed its first complaint against them. They are still at large.
So far, the ED has carried out searches at some 251 properties across the country and seized diamond, gold, pearls, precious and semi-precious stones. The ED has also claimed to have attached immovable properties belonging to their business groups to the tune of Rs 7,638 crore. IANS