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Nirav Modi's sister and her husband turn approvers in PNB fraud case, says ED
New Delhi, January 7, 2021
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today said that Purvi Modi, the sister of diamantaire Nirav Modi, and her husband Malank Mehta had turned approvers in the Rs 13,500-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan fraud case.
A press release from ED said Purvi Modi, a Belgian national, and her husband had filed an application before the Special (PMLA) Court here for allowing them to seek under Sections 306 and 307 of Criminal Procedure Code and undertaken to make "true and full disclosure of the circumstances and events without concealing any evidence and provide complete documents."
Purvi Modi has also agreed to assist in realizing and repatriating various assets in India and abroad totaling Rs 579 crore to the Government of India. These assets are in her name or in the names of companies owned by her.
According to the release, the properties a flat in Breach Candy, Bhulabhai Desai Road, Mumbai (worth Rs 19.50 crore); a flat in Central Park South, New York, United States, in the name of a trust (worth Rs 36.52 crore); another unit in Central Park South, New York in the name of a trust (Rs 182.crore); a bank account in Switzerland in her name with the equivalent of Rs 168.08 crore); a bank account in Switzerland in which she is the beneficial owner with balance of the equivalent of Rs 108.23 crore; a flat on Marylebone Road, London, UK (Rs 62.1 crore); and a bank account in Syndicate Bank, Nariman Point, in her name with balance of Rs 1.96 crore.
The ED had filed prosecution complaints before the Special PMLA court against Purvi Modi, Malank Mehta and others in the bank fraud case in which Nirav Modi is the main accused.
The agency said its investigations under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case had revealed that Purvi Modi had more than a dozen bank accounts and ownership of various companies and trusts abroad.
"Vide their statements and their submissions before the Adjudicating Authority, Purvi Modi and Maiank Mehta have categorically stated that all the companies, properties and accounts mentioned in the Prosecution Complaints (Except Pavillion Point Corporation) belong to Nirav Modi. She gave her willingness to offer all cooperation to repatriate the assets to India. Both of the accused stated that the funds channelized through their accounts were belonging to Nirav Modi and on Nirav Modi’s insistence," the release said.
According to the release, the Special Court has allowed for grant of tender of pardon under Sections 306 and 307 of Cr.P.C., on condition of making full and true disclosure and further allowed that the accused shall be marked as approver in the case.
"The court further directed that the applicant-accused shall appear before the court by returning to India, for which purpose the complainant-prosecution shall facilitate the approach of accused at earliest, and shall take suitable steps accordingly. Further investigation is in progress," the release added.
The ED had said in July last year that the Singapore High Court had ordered a freeze on a bank account with Rs 44 crore related to Purvi Modi and her husband.
In June last year, the ED had attached four bank accounts of Nirav Modi and Purvi, having a balance of Rs 283 crore, as part of its investigation into the case.
Interpol had issued a Red Corner Notice against Purvi in 2019.
Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are under investigation by both the CBI and the ED. Choksi is now believed to be in Antigua.
Meanwhile, a UK court had scheduled a hearing on the closing arguments in the extradition case of Nirav Modi on January 7 and 8.
Nirav Modi has been behind bars at Wandsworth Prison in south-west London since his arrest last year following India's extradition request.