Enforcement Directorate (ED) has launched an investigation against diamond merchant Nirav Modi and his accomplices on a massive scale after state-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) filed a complaint with Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) accusing him of defrauding the bank of at least Rs 11,400 crore. The investigating bodies are swamped till the nose in the PNB fraud case that surpasses the financial scam executed by absconding Vijay Mallya by a huge margin.

After booking Nirav Modi, his brother, his wife and a business companion; ED conducted raids at several locations linked to Modi’s business across various cities. ED raided four locations in Mumbai, three in Delhi and two in Surat. It all started with a formal complaint filed by PNB against Nirav Modi after they initially found fraudulent transactions amounting to Rs 280 crore but later after much digging, the bank reported the fraud to be as much as $1.8 billion.

Here are the LIVE updates on PNB fraud case:

11:55 PM: Enforcement Directorate conducted a raid at a showroom of Gili Jewellers at Thane’s Viviana Mall. The jewellery showroom was sealed after the raid.

08:40 PM: The Enforcement Directorate has written to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) seeking revocation of passports of Nirav Modi, his wife Ami Modi and Mehul Choksi.

07:44 PM: Stock worth Rs 5100 crore including Gold & Diamond jewellery, precious stones etc recovered during searches was seized under PMLA. Certain records have also been resumed for further investigation. Bank balance worth Rs 3.9 crore in accounts and fixed deposits has also been freezed.

07:30 PM: ED searches at 17 premises across India of Nirav Modi and Geetanjali Gems in PNB fraud case. Stocks of gold, diamond & precious stones worth Rs 5100 crore seized.

07:15 PM: There are speculative reports that Priyanka Chopra has sued Nirav Modi. This is not true. She is seeking legal opinion with respect to terminating her contract with the brand in light of allegations of financial fraud against Nirav Modi, says Priyanka Chopra’s spokesperson. 

07:00 PM: Wrote to PMO in ’16 requesting them to undertake a detailed investigation in the matter after we did not get any response from ED, CBI, SEBI, and Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Later, I got a mail from RoC that my case is closed: Hariprasad SV, Jeweller from Bengaluru said. 

06:30 PM: We opened a franchise store with an investment of Rs 10 crore with Mehul Choksi, MD Gitanjali Group. As per the agreement, he was supposed to give us gold worth Rs 10 crore but he gave us gold worth Rs 5 crore only. We finally filed 2 FIRs against him: Hariprasad SV, Jeweller from Bengaluru

06:15 PM: It shows type of crony capitalism flourishing in Modi government. Recently this gentleman was photographed with PM at Davos. Like Vijay Mallya, will Nirav Modi also be allowed to escape the law? Want comprehensive inquiry in the matter, asks Prakash Karat, CPI(M).

05:25 PM | Congress should stop doing politics over a photograph. Many good and cosy photographs of many of the Congress leaders with Mehul Choksi is available with us, but we don’t want to stoop to that level: RS Prasad

05:20 PM | What is this word ‘Chhota Modi’ ? BJP takes strong offence to the kind of language being used by describing someone like that. It is derogatory, scandalous and demeaning. Nirav Modi did not meet PM Modi at Davos. Nirav had arrived in Davos on his own and was present at CII group photo event: RS Prasad

05:15 PM | I wish to make it very clear and this I can also convey on the behalf of the government that no one shall be spared in the banking system who has sought to derail ordinary banking system to help Nirav Modi. This is regardless of stature and status of concerned official: Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

05:12 PM | Central Bureau of Investigation has questioned Punjab National Bank officials in connection with PNB Fraud Case. According to latest reports, no bank official has been arrested yet by the CBI.

05:10 PM | Post the raids, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) revealed that at least 95 documents were seized from the premises. The Bureau stated that the seized documents were mostly import bills and applications. PNB filed a second complaint with CBI on 13 February. CBI is scrutinising the matter.

05:05 PM | As per sources, absconding billionaire diamond merchant has tried to cut a deal with banks. Reportedly, Nirav Modi has offered to pay Rs 5,000 crore to banks.

05:00 PM | During searches, CBI sealed residence of Ami Modi, wife of Nirav Modi in Mumbai’s Worli. CBI conducted a raid at her residence on February 3 and 4.

04:00 PM | According to sources, the value of jewellery present in the multiple diamond stores of Nirav Modi across different cities is being calculated. It is also being reported that all that jewellery could be confiscated.

03:45 PM | No official business delegation travelled with PM Modi. There was no meeting between Nirav Modi and PM Narendra Modi in Davos, it was just a photo opportunity at an event: Sources

03:15 PM| Whatever is coming out is the result of the previous UPA govt, action will be certainly taken on it: Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Defence Minister lashes out against Congress on PNB fraud case in Shillong

03:00 PM | Nirav Modi’s wife, an American citizen, left India on January 6, 2018 while Mehul Choksi left the country on 4 Jan 2018. Modi’s brother Nishal Modi, a Belgian citizen, left India on January 1, 2018. CBI had issued lookout circulars against all accused on January 31, 2018: Official Sources

02:55 PM | We were not in government in 2011, if Congress is making allegations, were they sleeping from 2011-14? They should’ve probed it. This govt is taking cognizance of matters and probing them. Congress was a govt of scams and they established these scamsters: MoS Finance SP Shukla

02:50 PM | How can Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi dupe the entire banking system through forged Letters of Understanding under the nose of Modi government? Who is responsible for biggest bank loot scam unleashed by chhota Modi?: R Surjewala

02:45 PM | On 26 July 2016, PM was handed with all papers regarding Nirav Modi and one of his relative. It was said that complaint had 42 FIRs. PMO acknowledged the complaint, they also sent registrar of companies to take some action. But in the end, the government couldn’t do anything: Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala

02:30 PM | Concluding the press conference, Sunil Mehta said that government of India is monitoring the situation and the bank is getting full support in nabbing the culprits.

02:20 PM | FIR, raids are being conducted on involved groups establishments while documents and records are being seized. Steps are being taken to protect financial interest of banks: Sunil Mehta, MD PNB

02:25 PM | After admitting the grave fault of bank employees, the MD of PNB has reiterated that this is a standalone incident. He also said that the scam has taken place only in one of our branches.

02:20 PM | We detected the fraud on January 3. We got to know that 2 of our employees did some un-authorised transactions. The bank intiated criminal action against our staff members: Sunil Mehta, MD PNB

02:15 PM | The scam was first detected by our officials at first in 2011 and we had reported it to the concerned agencies. We will not encourage any wrongdoings, hence we have brought this scam to the surface: Sunil Mehta, MD of Punjab National Bank (PNB)

02:00 PM | Vijay Mallya’s outstanding debts were not known to the Finance Ministry. Nirav Modi literally bankrupts PNB. Are you surprised India’s NPA has risen 400% during Modi Sarkar? Crony capitalists have had a field day.

01:45 PM | In the wake of Nirav Modi’s alleged scam, Indian National Congress president Rahul Gandhi directed an attack on Bharatiya Janta Party and its spearhead Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He took to Twitter to vent his opinion on the matter.

01:30 PM | If this person had fled India before the FIR on Jan 31, then he is here, photographed at Davos with PM, a week before the FIR, after having escaped from India? Modi govt must clarify: Sitaram Yechury

01:15 PM | Sharing his opinion on the matter, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took to his official Twitter handle and asked: “Is it possible to believe that he or vijay mallya left the country without active connivance of BJP govt?”

01:00 PM | Visuals from Punjab National Banks’s MCB Brady House branch in Mumbai, from where transactions related to PNB scam were carried out.

12:30 PM | Nirav Modi left the country on 1st of January. CBI received a complaint from PNB on 29th Jan 2018. CBI registered the case on 31st January. Lookout notice has also been issued against Nirav Modi: Official Sources

12:15 PM| According to reports, Priyanka Chopra has filed a complaint against Nirav Modi. She has alleged that she never got paid for a diamond advertisement she did for his company. Priyanka was Nirav Modi’s brand ambassador since January 2017.

12:00 PM | ED officials landed at Firestar Diamond Pvt Ltd head office in Bharat Diamond Bourse, in Bandra Kurla Complex, Modi’s private office at Kohinoor City in Kurla West, his showroom and boutique at Itts House in Fort in south Mumbai and a workshop in Peninsula Business Park in Lower Parel.

In Gujarat, six diamond workshops were raided in Surat SEZ at Sachin town and an office in Belgium Towers on Ring Road, the hub of diamond jewellery trade.

Two diamond jewellery boutiques of Modi in New Delhi – in Chanakyapuri and Defence Colony – were also raided.

11:30 AM | ED team began conducting raids at Nirav Modi’s residences, offices and showrooms. Four properties in Mumbai, three in Delhi and two in Surat were searched by ED officials.

11:00 AM | The FIR filed by the bank read: “These firms contested that they have been availing this facility in the past also but the branch records did not reveal the details of any such facility.

It also observed that former bank officer Gopal Nath Shetty had fraudulently issued LOUs without following prescribed procedure by obtaining required request applications, documents and approval of the authorities and without making entries in the bank system.”

10:30 AM | After the fraud came out in the open, the stock value of Punjab National Bank took a huge dip on Thursday morning. The stock of PNB was down by 6.20% trading at Rs 136.80 per share at the BSE on Thursday at 11:15 AM.

09:00 AM | A Mumbai branch of PNB had earlier detected fraud larger than Rs 280 crore and in a regulatory filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the bank said that the fraudulent transactions executed by the firms of Nirav Modi are worth Rs 11,400 crore.

The bank said, “The bank has detected some fraudulent and unauthorised transactions (messages) in one of its branch in Mumbai for the benefit of a few select account holders with their apparent connivance.

Based on these transactions other banks appear to have advanced money to these customers abroad. In the bank these transactions are contingent in nature and liability arising out of these on the bank shall be decided based on the law and genuineness of underlying transactions.

The matter is already referred to law enforcement agencies to examine and book the culprits as per law of the land.”

08:30 AM | Enforcement Directorate registers Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case against Nirav Modi and others in connection with cheating of Rs 280 crore from Punjab National Bank (PNB). The case has been registered on the basis of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR.

08:00 AM |The CBI acted on a complaint by the Deputy General Manager of Punjab National Bank, Zonal Office, Mumbai, alleging that Nirav Modi, his brother Nishal Modi, wife Ami Nirav Modi and Mehul Chinubhai — partners of Diamond R US, Solar Exports, Stellar Diamonds — committed the offence of cheating the bank and caused a “wrongful loss”.

(With inputs from IANS)

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