The U.S. government is aware of the media reports that diamond jeweller Nirav Modi is in the country but is unable to confirm them, a State Department official said today.
Multiple probe agencies are investigating Modi, his uncle Mehul Choksi and others following a complaint by the Punjab National Bank (PNB) that they allegedly cheated the nationalised bank to the tune of over Rs 12,000 crore, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank.
"We are aware of recent media reports that Nirav Modi is in the United States but cannot confirm them," the spokesperson told PTI when asked about reports that the Indian businessman is in New York.
Asked if the department is providing any assistance to the Indian government in tracing Modi, the spokesperson said, "We refer you to the Department of Justice for questions on legal assistance to the Indian authorities about their investigation of Mr Modi".
The Department of Justice declined to comment on Modi.
Modi and his associates allegedly acquired fraudulent letters of undertaking (LoUs) from PNB's Brady House branch in Fort area for overseas credit from other lenders. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) have registered two FIRs each in this case.
Modi, his family, and Choksi, the promoter of Gitanjali Gems, left the country in early January, much before the CBI received a complaint from the PNB.
A Look Out Circular (LoC), also known as a blue corner notice, has already been issued against Modi and Choksi to keep a tab on their entry at all land, air and sea ports in India.