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  Metros   Mumbai  04 Mar 2018  Court issues NBW against Modi, Choksi

Court issues NBW against Modi, Choksi

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Mar 4, 2018, 1:09 am IST
Updated : Mar 4, 2018, 1:09 am IST

ED counsel Hiten Venegaonkar on Thursday argued before the court that three summons had been issued to Modi.

Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi (Photo: PTI)
 Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi (Photo: PTI)

Mumbai: The Special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court on Saturday issued a non- bailable warrant (NBW) against diamantaire Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, owner of the Gitanjali Group, in the Rs 12,700 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam.

Both have been decl-ared absconders since the case was registered in February.  

 

On Thursday, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had moved an NBW against them in court.

The Special PMLA judge M. S. Azmi also allowed the ED’s application seeking LRs to seven countries — Malaysia, Armenia, France, China, Japan, Russia and Belgium — in connection with the case.

ED counsel Hiten Venegaonkar on Thursday argued before the court that three summons had been issued to Modi.

But in all three replies, Modi had sought pardon from making a personal appearance before the investigating officer and asked the ED to ask him questions via e-mail, which according to the agency “unacceptable.”

Venegaonkar also told the court, “This court has powers to issue NBW, as it has done in the past in the cases of Lalit Modi and Vijay Mallya.” Meanwhile, the CBI court on Saturday granted the CBI plea seeking arrest of Gokulnath Shetty, then deputy manager (now retired) of PNB in connection with the issuance of a fraudulent Letter of Undertaking (LoU) to Choksi-owned firms to the tune of Rs 6138 crores.

 

The five accused — Manoj Kharat (single window operator), Hemant Bhat, (authorised signatory for Nirav Modi), Bachhu Tiwari (chief manager incharge of forex and Shetty’s supervisor), Yashwant Joshi, (manager, forex) and Praful Sawant, PNB official, whose job was to check swift daily have been sent to 14 days judicial custody.

In its remand copy, the ED stated that, “It was informed by the PNB in writing that there are more than 150 LoUs amounting to Rs 6498 crore, which are falling due with effect from January to April and all these were issued in 2017 by Shetty. The amount is likely to go higher also.” It said that Shetty admitted that the set of bills of earlier LoUs of Modi firms were returned to the parties once payment of LoUs was settled.

 

"The messages were put up to Shetty by Kharat and thereafter they were putting it to Tiwari. However, since they were hand in glove, no action was taken to enter these LOUs in the CBS system of the Branch,” the agency said in its remand.

Tags: prevention of money laundering act (pmla), nirav modi, mehul choksi