PNB scam: ED issues summons to Nirav Modi’s father, sister

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued summons to absconding diamantaire Nirav Modi’s father Deepak Modi, sister Purvi Mehta and her husband Mayank Mehta as part of its probe in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud, an official said here on Friday.

The fraud was committed during 2011-17 by illegally issuing Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) and Foreign Letters of Credit (FLCs).

Deepak, Purvi and Mayank have been asked to appear before the ED investigators at its Mumbai office to record their statements in the case as the agency is in the process of filing chargesheet in a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai, expectedly by the next week.

ED investigators said Nirav Modi’s relatives were summoned in the first week of this month and were given 15 days time to appear before it in the ongoing money laundering probe of over Rs 13,000 crore. The alleged banking fraud was committed by the diamond merchant, his group of companies — Diamond R US, Solar Exports and Stellar Diamonds — alongwith uncle Mehul Choksi and others.

An ED official said that further notices would be issued to the three in case they fail to respond to the first summons, an ED official told on condition of anonymity.

Deepak is reportedly based in Antwerp in Belgium, while Purvi and her husband are settled in Hong Kong. “They were sent the summons through mail,” the official said.

Purvi is under ED’s radar for her alleged role in round-tripping of Nirav Modi’s laundered money via Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) back to India while her husband is suspected of supporting the diamond merchant in similar operations.

The multi-crore fraud was committed in connivance with PNB’s Mumbai Brady House branch officers between 2011-17.

The ED had started money laundering probe against Nirav Modi, his brother Nishal, wife Ami and others, based on the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) FIR lodged on January 31, following PNB’s first complaint against the businessman for allegedly cheating it of Rs 280.70 crore.

ED investigators have claimed to have traced over Rs 5,000 crore assets of Nirav Modi so far. The official said that the crores said to have been sent as FDI transactions from Singapore-based firm Islington International Pte Ltd, whose beneficiary owner is stated to be Purvi’s husband, are doubtful in nature.

The ED investigations is also based on Income Tax department’s February report to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Union Finance Ministry against Nirav Modi and his uncle Choksi in which it is reportedly mentioned that nearly Rs 4,900 crore transactions were unexplained.