The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has approached the Interpol to locate diamantaire Nirav Modi and his family accused in multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud, said informed sources.
According to the sources, the agency sent the request to the Interpol last week aimed at locate and arrest Modi who left the country along with his family in January first week, weeks before the scam was reported to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is investigating criminal misconduct in the case.
The move is part of money trail probe by the ED and the CBI after cases were registered against Modi and his business partner and uncle Mehul Choksi, promoter of Gitanjali Group, for defrauding PNB.
Modi, a regular on the lists of rich and famous Indians since 2013, along with his group companies — Diamond R US, Stellar Diamond and Solar Exports — and others have been implicated in the Rs 13,500 crore scam which was admitted by the PNB in February, leading to a massive upheaval in the country’s banking system.
The CBI in February also approached the Interpol with a request of issuing a Diffusion Notice against Modi to locate him.
Modi’s wife Ami, a US citizen, left on January 6 and his uncle Choksi left on January 4.
The PNB has claimed in different complaints to the CBI that several Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) were fraudulently issued by its officials in connivance with Modi and the other accused in the case causing it huge loss.
A LoU is a letter of comfort issued by one bank to branches of other banks, based on which foreign branches offer credit to buyers.
In its ongoing investigation in the case, the ED on Tuesday arrested Modi’s Firestar Group Vice President Shyam Sunder Wadhwa and it has so far carried out searches at 251 properties across the country and seized diamonds, gold, pearls and precious and semi-precious stones.
The ED has also claimed to have attached immovable properties belonging to their business groups to the tune of Rs 7,638 crore.