Big worry for Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi! ED using this to get ‘fugitives’ status for diamond merchants

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New Delhi | Published: July 9, 2018 7:54:01 AM

The law enforcement agency will also approach the court to acquire status of "fugitives" for both Modi and Choksi.

Once the court categorizes Modi and Choksi as fugitives, their assets in India and abroad will be liable for confiscation and can be sold to meet the creditors’ claims, even before the trial begins.

With an aim to tighten the noose around multi-crore defaulters Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, Enforcement Directorate (ED) will move a special court this week for “immediate confiscation” of attached assets worth Rs 3,500 crore of aforementioned diamond merchants. The law enforcement agency will also approach the court to acquire status of “fugitives” for both Modi and Choksi. The agency is taking the route under recently promulgated Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance and will cite its prosecution complaints, chargesheets filed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in the court, according to Indian Express report.

Once the court categorizes Modi and Choksi as fugitives, their assets in India and abroad will be liable for confiscation and can be sold to meet the creditors’ claims, even before the trial begins. Once the ED moves the court, the judge will provide six weeks to Modi and Choksi to appear at “a specified place at a specified time”. If they fail to do so, they will be declared “fugitive economic offenders”, according to IE report.

Punjab National Bank had complained against Modi and Choksi’s companies, claiming it had been cheated of Rs 13,600 crore through fraudulent letters of undertaking and foreign letters of credit. Both have been absconding since January, a few weeks before the scam came to light. The probe agency has so far attached assets worth Rs 1,175 crore of Modi and Rs 2,400 crore of Choksi in India. This includes movable and immovable assets, diamonds, gold and jewellery, the IE report says.

A Mumbai court has already issued non-bailable warrants against Modi and Choksi on the request of the ED. According to report, while Choksi is learnt to be in the US, Modi is likely to be in either Belgium or the United Kingdom.

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