PNB fraud case: Nirav Modi suffers huge blow as Singapore HC freezes kin's bank deposits of Rs 44.41 cr

The Singapore High Court has ordered freezing of bank deposits worth Rs 44.41 crore kept in that country by Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud-accused Nirav Modi's two relatives as part of a money laundering probe in India, the Enforcement Directorate said on Tuesday.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) said the bank account is in the name of Pavillion Point Corporation based in the British Virgin Island, a company "beneficially owned" by Purvi Modi and Maiank Mehta.

The two are the sister and brother-in-law of Modi, who is currently under arrest in this alleged bank fraud case in London. The high court had ordered freezing the balance of $6.122 million (Rs 44.41 crore) on the request of the ED on the ground that deposits in the bank account were made from "proceeds of crime" illegally siphoned off by Modi from the PNB, it said.

 PNB fraud case: Nirav Modi suffers huge blow as Singapore HC freezes kins bank deposits of Rs 44.41 cr

A file photo of Nirav Modi. News18

The agency had attached this bank account in Singapore as part of a provisional order issued last year under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the same was confirmed by the adjudicating authority of the law in March this year, it said.

On 27 June, four Swiss bank accounts, holding deposits of over Rs 283 crore of Modi, the main accused in the $2 billion PNB case, and his sister were similarly "frozen" by authorities in Switzerland as part of the money laundering probe being conducted against them in India.

On Thursday, the fugitive diamond merchant was further remanded to judicial custody until 25 July, said a PTI report.

Judge Jonathan Radway presided over the short remand hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court via videolink from Wandsworth prison and re-confirmed 29 July as the date for the next case management hearing in the 48-year-old diamond merchant's extradition proceedings sought in the PNB fraud case.

Modi has been lodged at Wandsworth prison in south-west London since his arrest in March in connection with the case.

The legal team for Modi, led by barrister Jessica Jones, brought to the judge's attention an issue related to the nearly 5,000-page set of documentation submitted by the UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on behalf of the Indian government.

On 27 June, four Swiss bank accounts Modi and his sister Purvi were "frozen" by authorities in Switzerland as part of the criminal money laundering probe being conducted against them in India, a PTI report said. Official sources said the accounts, at present, have deposits totalling Rs 283.16 crore and they have been frozen on the request of the ED after it informed Switzerland authorities that the money kept in them are "proceeds of crime" of a bank fraud perpetrated by the duo.

Official sources said while the accounts of Modi have deposits of $3,74,11,596 while the accounts in the name of Purvi has deposits of GBP 27,38,136.

This totals around Rs 283.16 crore, they said.

The ED along with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is investigating Modi, his uncle Mehul Choksi and others for alleged money laundering and corruption to defraud the Brady House branch of the PNB in Mumbai to the tune of over Rs 13,000 crore.

With PTI inputs

Updated Date: Jul 02, 2019 16:02:32 IST