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  Metros   Mumbai  06 Dec 2019  Nirav Modi declared fugitive offender

Nirav Modi declared fugitive offender

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Dec 6, 2019, 3:39 am IST
Updated : Dec 6, 2019, 3:39 am IST

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) probing the scam had moved the plea to declare Modi an FEO.

Nirav Modi
 Nirav Modi

Mumbai: A special PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) court Thursday declared absconding diamantaire Nirav Modi a fugitive economic offender (FEO) in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam case.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) probing the scam had moved the plea to declare Modi an FEO.

Modi’s lawyer, however, opposed the application claiming that the ED was relying on evidence and statements recorded under the PMLA to seek remedy under the FEO Act, which was not permissible.

Under the FEO Act, a person can be declared a fugitive offender if a warrant has been issued against him for an offence involving `100 crore or more, and he has left the country and refuses to return.

The court in its order said that it appeared that Modi was aware of the due date of payment of his liabilities when he left the country on January 1, 2018. Special PMLA court Judge V.C. Barde said, “The material on record leads to draw an inference that the respondent has left the country under the circumstances rendering suspicions in behaviour to dodge forthcoming penal consequences of the acts he has done or committed while in India till the year 2017.”

Under the FEO Act, a person can be declared a fugitive economic offender if a warrant has been issued against him for an offence involving `100 crore or more, and he has left the country and refuses to return.

With the court declaring Modi an FEO, the ED will be able to confiscate his properties in India to recover the ill-gotten money.

The investigating agency has provisionally attached Modi’s properties worth `1,396.07 crore for confiscation.

Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are the main accused in the PNB scam. Both left India before the scam came to light in January 2018.

The prosecution case is that Modi and Choksi, in connivance with some bank officials, duped the PNB of `14,000 crore by fraudulently obtaining Letters of Undertaking (LoUs).

An LoU is a bank guarantee under which a bank can allow its customers to raise money from another Indian bank's foreign branch.

The LoUs were issued by a Mumbai branch of the PNB to a group of companies belonging to Nirav Modi from March 2011.

Tags: prevention of money laundering act, nirav modi