PNB fraud case: ED arrests Mehul Choksi's associate Deepak Kulkarni in Kolkata in money laundering probe

After a long chase, Deepak Kulkarni, executive of fugitive jeweller Mehul Choski's firm has been arrested in connection with the money laundering probe in the $2-billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case, officials said.

Kulkarni was arrested from the Kolkata airport after he landed from Hong Kong, ED officials said. A lookout notice was issued against him by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and ED earlier.

It is being said that Kulkarni was in charge of the Hong Kong operations of Choksi who fled India soon after his nephew Nirav Modi also did so after allegedly defrauding Punjab National Bank out of Rs 13,000 crore, The Telegraph said.

Kulkarni, was a director in a Hong Kong-based "dummy" firm linked to Choksi, an official said, according to an NDTV report. He was named in a charge-sheet filed against Choski earlier this year. The Mumbai court had also issued a non-bailable warrant against him, the report said.

Kulkarni was arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and was expected to be produced before a court on Tuesday, the officials said, adding that the ED would seek his transit remand to take him to Mumbai, where the case was registered.

File image of Mehul Choksi. Twitter

File image of Mehul Choksi. Twitter

Kulkarni was linked to the overseas businesses of Mehul Choksi, one of the main accused in the case, and the ED had notified a Look-out Circular (LoC) against him, the officials said.

He was a director in a Hong Kong-based "dummy" firm linked to Choksi, an official said, adding that the ED had named him in a chargesheet filed against the fugitive jeweller earlier this year and a Mumbai court had also issued a non-bailable warrant against him.

Mehul Choksi, his nephew and diamond jeweller Nirav Modi and others are being probed under various criminal laws after the fraud came to light this year, following a complaint from the Punjab National Bank (PNB) that they allegedly cheated the nationalised bank to the tune of over Rs. 13,000 crore, with the purported involvement of some of its employees.

Both Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi are absconding since the case was registered by the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

--With PTI inputs


Updated Date: Nov 06, 2018 12:20 PM

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