Indian investigators seize billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi’s luxury automobiles in $one.eight billion fraud probe

MUMBAI (Reuters) &#8211 The Enforcement Directorate mentioned on Thursday it has seized a Rolls Royce Ghost, a Porsche Panamera and some 50 % a dozen far more luxury automobiles belonging to billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi and his corporations, in a probe into an alleged $ 1.8 billion fraud against point out-run Punjab Nationwide Financial institution. Modi, his companies, and other companies with back links to his uncle Mehul Choksi, are at the coronary heart of the alleged fraud that associated illegally issued letters of enterprise (LOUs) from the second-biggest Indian point out-run loan provider that have been utilised to get financial loans from abroad branches of mainly Indian banks. In what has been dubbed the most significant fraud in India’s banking history, police have so much arrested a dozen individuals &#8211 six from the bank and six more from Modi and Choksi’s businesses &#8211 as they carry on the probe. A attorney for Modi has denied his consumer was involved in any fraud. Choksi has not commented but his agency, Gitanjali Gems, has also denied involvement in the alleged fraud. A Nirav Modi showroom is pictured in New Delhi, India, February 15, 2018. REUTERS/Adnan AbidiThe Enforcement Directorate, an company concentrated on foreign exchange and income laundering offences, has been conducting separate searches at residences and offices of Modi. As of last Saturday, it had seized jewelry, gold, diamonds, treasured metals and stones that it explained had been well worth fifty six.seventy four billion rupees ($ 872.5 million). In a Twitter submit on Thursday, the ED detailed the seizures of the automobiles from Modi and his businesses. It also said it had frozen shares and mutual funds worth 78 million rupees held by Modi and 867.two million rupees by Choksi. Indian jeweller Nirav Modi poses in the course of the start of his store in Mumbai, India, March 14, 2015. Photo taken March fourteen, 2015. Fotocorp/Handout through REUTERS Interest EDITORS &#8211 THIS Graphic WAS Provided BY A Third Social gathering NO ARCHIVES NO RESALESModi, who police say left India in January with his loved ones just before the bank filed a police complaint triggering an inquiry, has not publicly commented on the case nevertheless. However, in a letter to PNB, a duplicate of which was seen by Reuters, Modi had mentioned that his companies owed the lender less than 50 billion rupees, nicely beneath the quantity alleged by the financial institution. He also said PNB experienced jeopardized its potential customers of recovering the sums owed by heading general public with its allegations. ($ 1 = sixty five.0300 rupees) Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy Modifying by Alex RichardsonOur Specifications:The Thomson Reuters Believe in Concepts.