Despite Enforcement Directorate issuing summons to diamantaire Nirav Modi and his family members to join the investigations in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud, they have chosen to ignore the directive by remaining abroad and out of immediate reach of the investigators.
According to ED sources, Nirav Modi is currently in London on a Singaporean passport while his brother Nishal Modi is in Antwerp on a Belgian passport. Nirav’s sister Purvi Mehta also holds a Belgian passport and is said to be in Hong Kong at present.
Purvi’s husband, Mayank Mehta (of Rosy Blue Diamond) has got a British passport and is shuttling between Hong Kong and New York, the sources said.
The ED has issued summons to Nirav Modi’s father Deepak Modi, sister Purvi Mehta and her husband Mayank Mehta. “They were sent the summons through mail,” an ED official said on condition of anonymity.
The PNB fraud was committed during 2011-17 by illegally issuing Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) and Foreign Letters of Credit (FLCs) and then rolling them over several times.
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 charge sheet in a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai.
The ED official said that 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 his uncle Mehul Choksi and others.
Further notices would be issued to the three in case they fail to respond to the first summons, 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.