PNB Fraud Case: Interpol Issues Red Corner Notice Against Nehal Modi
Punjab National Bank’s Brady House Branch in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Anirudh Saligrama/BloombergQuint)

PNB Fraud Case: Interpol Issues Red Corner Notice Against Nehal Modi

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The Interpol has issued a Red Corner Notice against Nehal Modi, a step-brother of Nirav Modi, prime accused in the $2 billion PNB fraud case, officials said on Friday.

The global arrest warrant against Nehal Modi (40), a Belgian national, has been issued on charges of money laundering being probed by India’s Enforcement Directorate. Nehal Modi is stated to be in the U.S.

A Mumbai court has issued two open-ended non-bailable warrants against him. It is on the basis of these NBWs and charge sheet that the ED requested for an Interpol notice against Nehal Modi.

According to ED, Nehal Modi was the "protector and investment advisor" for Nirav Modi as well as Gitanjali Gems promoter Mehul Choksi, another prime accused in the PNB fraud case.

Nehal Modi was born in Antwerp, Belgium, on Mar. 3, 1979, and he knows languages such as English, Gujarati and Hindi, according to the Interpol Red Corner Notice. He has been charged with destruction of evidence and "knowingly and intentionally" assisting Nirav Modi in his alleged illegal acts, the ED charge sheet against him states.

"He (Nehal Modi) was looking after the affairs of Twin Fields Investments Ltd. and Bailey Bank and Biddle for Nirav Modi. Both these companies had received around $50 million from dummy companies of Nirav Modi which in turn received this fund from the fraud committed on PNB," ED said in a statement.

For Nirav Modi, ED said, Nehal became the protector and investment advisor of 'The Ithaca Trust'. "The said trust got tainted funds to the tune of $30 million after extensive layering and two immovable properties have been purchased in USA from these.

"After the case broke out, Nehal Modi had dealt with the proceeds of crime and had taken away diamonds worth $6 million, 150 boxes of pearls from Hong Kong and cash of AED (UAE Dirham) 3.5 million and 50 kg gold along with Mihir Bhansali, another co-conspirator in the case, from Dubai," the Indian investigating agency.

Nehal Modi was "also involved" in destroying digital evidence like mobile phones and server pertaining to the case in Dubai.

In Choksi's case, it said, Nehal Modi was "in charge" of firms like Samuels Jewellers INC and Diamlink Inc. "At his instance, these companies received around $19 million of proceeds of crime in the guise of royalty, advances etc from Dubai-based shell companies of Mehul Choksi," ED said in the statement.

Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are alleged to be the main perpetrators of India's biggest bank fraud case that came to light last year.

The duo used fraudulently issued Letters of Undertaking and Letters of Credit to siphon away $2 billion from Punjab National Bank.

While Nirav Modi is in jail in London and is contesting his extradition to India, Choksi is stated to be in Antigua. The Interpol has already issued Red Corner Notices against Nirav Modi, his sister Purvi Modi and Mohir Bhansali in the money-laundering case.

India’s Central Bureau of Investigation is also looking into the bank fraud that was perpetrated at PNB’s Brady House branch in Mumbai.

On Friday, PNB shares rose 0.54 percent to Rs 64.90 apiece on the BSE while the Sensex gained 0.76 percent to end the day at 37,384.99 points.

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