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Non-bailable warrants against Nirav Modi, Choksi

Nirav Modi

Nirav Modi  

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Move comes after they failed to appear on ED summonses

A special court on Saturday issued non-bailable warrants (NBWs) against diamond traders Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi in the alleged Rs 12,700-crore Punjab National Bank scam.

The court, set up under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, issued the NBWs on applications filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), one of the agencies probing the bank fraud cases registered last month.

The court also allowed the ED’s application seeking Letters of Rogatory (LR) to seven countries — Malaysia, Armenia, France, China, Japan, Russia and Belgium — in connection with the case.

The ED had earlier issued summonses to Modi and Choksi, both key accused in the scam cases, asking them to appear before the central agency.

However, the diamond traders, who are said to have left the country before criminal cases were registered, failed to appear before the ED, prompting the agency to move the PMLA court for issuance of NBWs against them.

On February 27, the ED had moved the court seeking an NBW against Modi. The agency told the court that it had issued three summonses to Modi to appear before it.

The agency said it received replies from Nirav Modi for two summonses. In response to the second summons, Nirav Modi said he cannot appear before the agency owing to his business commitments.

In reply to the third summons, the businessman raised the issue of his security, the ED counsel said.

Meanwhile, another court here on Saturday allowed the CBI to arrest Gokulnath Shetty, then deputy manager (now retired) of PNB, in connection with issuance of fraudulent Letters of Undertaking (LOUs) to Choksi-owned firms. Shetty has already been arrested in the case related to Nirav Modi’s firms.

Earlier in the day, special CBI judge S.R. Tamboli remanded Shetty, Manoj Kharat, a single window operator of PNB; Hemant Bhatt, authorised signatory of Nirav Modi; Bechhu Tiwari, then chief manager in the Forex department of PNB; Yashwant Joshi, scale II manager in PNB’s Forex department, and Praful Sawant, scale-I officer handling the bank’s exports section, in judicial custody till March 17.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 2:50:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/non-bailable-warrants-against-nirav-modi-choksi/article22920697.ece

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