Billionaire diamond merchant Nirav Modi. (Source: Nirav Modi/Instagram)

ED Seeks Help To Stop Sales At Nirav Modi’s Overseas Outlets

The Enforcement Directorate sought help from its overseas counterparts to stop sales at Nirav Modi’s four major outlets outside India in New York, Beijing, Macau and London, a senior government official told BloombergQuint.

ED has been raiding Modi and Gitanjali Group’s outlets in India. It searched 35 more locations across India in the Nirav Modi case and seized diamonds, gold and jewellery worth Rs 549 crore (book value). The investigating agency tweeted that the total seizure till now is worth Rs 5,649 crore.

The agency is trying to attach Modi’s other assets in India and overseas to recover more amount, the official quoted above said.

In cases of cross-border money laundering, there are provisions in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and treaties signed with various countries to seek help, said Hiten Venegaokar, special counsel at the Bombay High Court who represented ED in its case against Vijay Mallya. And then the authorities of other countries can act against the party in question, he said.

Emailed queries sent to Modi's spokesperson didn’t elicit a response.

Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi of the Gitanjali Group have been accused in the Rs 11,400-crore fraud at Punjab National Bank. The Central Bureau of Investigation registered a fresh first information report against the Gitanjali Group after a complaint by the Punjab National Bank, and also approached the Interpol to locate them, news agency PTI reported.

On ED's advice, the passport issuing authority in the Ministry of External Affairs suspended the validity of Modi and Choksi’s passports with immediate effect for four weeks.

If they fail to respond within the stipulated time, the ministry will go ahead with the revocation.