Days after the Enforcement Directorate filed its chargesheet in the Punjab National Bank fraud, it has been reported that the agency has cited Nirav Modi's US-based stepbrother Nehal who disappeared with 50kg gold jewellery from a Dubai safe house immediately after the scam broke out. The agency filed its first chargesheet in the multi-billion banking fraud involving diamantaire Nirav Modi and his associates.
According to a report in the Times of India, the gold was stocked for sale through Nirav Modi's retail outlets abroad but as soon as Nehal realised that the probe agencies would try to stop the shifting of the jewellery from Dubai, he moved it to a safer location. The ED has named Nehal for allegedly playing a significant role in laundering the bank money siphoned out of India by Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, the report said, citing a source.
The report further said that Mehul Choksi had also planned to ferry 34,000 gold and diamond pieces from a Dubai safe house. However, his plan was thwarted by ED officials, who coerced one of his employees to bring it back to India. The entire Modi family had fled the country days before the CBI registered a case into the fraud but they sent Nehal back to negotiate with the PNB to seek more time for repayment of dues which bank rejected, the TOI reported.
The ED is expected to file a second chargesheet against Modi's uncle and jeweller Mehul Choksi and his businesses. In its first chargesheet, the ED has named a total of 24 people as accused and some of them are: Nirav Modi, his father, brother Neeshal Modi, sister Purvi Modi, brother-in-law Mayank Mehta and the designer jewellers' firms--Ms Solar Exports, Stellar Diamonds and Diamonds R Us.
Nirav Modi's Firestar group of companies and other named firms had fraudulently obtained Rs 6,498 crore through Letters of Undertaking issued by the PNB.
The CBI had earlier this month filed two charge sheets in this case. The CBI in its chargesheet detailed the roles of Nirav Modi, his brother Nishal Modi and Subhash Parab, an executive in Modi's firm. The chargesheet deals with the first FIR registered in the case relating to the fraudulent issuance over Rs 6,000 crore of Letters of Undertaking to Diamond R US, Solar Exports and Stellar Diamonds.
The agency has not given in detail the role of Mehul Choksi in the present chargesheet. It is likely to come up when the CBI files supplementary chargesheets in the case related to the probe of the Gitanjali group.