PNB fraud: Mumbai court issues non-bailable warrants against Gitanjali Gems boss Mehul Choksi, five others

Jeweller Mehul Choksi's firms allegedly inflated the value of low quality goods exported from India

FP Staff July 06, 2018 09:25:59 IST
PNB fraud: Mumbai court issues non-bailable warrants against Gitanjali Gems boss Mehul Choksi, five others

A special court in Mumbai has issued a non-bailable warrant against Gitanjali Gems owner Mehul Choksi, accused of perpetrating the $2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam with nephew Nirav Modi, according to a media report.

The special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court has also issued non-bailable warrants against five other people accused in the scam, reported India Today. The names of the five are unavailable at present.

The latest development comes days after it was reported that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) was set to move the court seeking a 'fugitive economic offender' tag for Choksi, and confiscate his assets, worth over Rs 6,000 crore.

On 3 July, the PMLA court took cognisance of a criminal prosecution complaint - a chargesheet - filed by the ED against Choksi and 13 others on 28 June under the anti-money laundering law.

The ED has also filed a chargesheet against Modi and has obtained a 'red corner notice, or global arrest warrant issued by the Interpol, against the fugitive diamantaire.

PNB fraud Mumbai court issues nonbailable warrants against Gitanjali Gems boss Mehul Choksi five others

File photo of Mehul Choksi. News18

28 July's chargesheet

The ED has charged Choksi and his firms - Gitanjali Gems Ltd, Gili India Ltd and Nakshatra Brand Ltd - with obtaining "fraudulently issued letters of undertaking (LoUs) to the tune of Rs 3,011.39 crore and obtaining credit limits of foreign letters of credit enhanced to the tune of Rs 3,086.24 crore."

The total proceeds of the crime in this case is Rs 6,097.63 crore, the ED said in the chargesheet.

The agency said that its investigation revealed that "goods exported from India (by Choksi's firms) were of abysmally low quality but the value was highly inflated."

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