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PNB Fraud: ED Seeks To Attach Choksi's Thailand Factory

04 January 2019


New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday said it has sent a request for attachment of a factory premises in Thailand worth Rs 13 crore owned by Abbeycrest Ltd, a company of Mehul Choksi's Gitanjali Group, in connection with its ongoing investigation into the Rs 13,500-crore PNB fraud case.

The financial probe agency said it has sought attachment of the assets by Thailand authorities under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act by sending a provisional attachment order in the form of letters rogatory.

An ED official said during the investigation, it surfaced that Abbeycrest (Thailand) Limited was the beneficiary of the letters of undertakings (LOUs) issued fraudulently and unauthorisedly from the Punjab National Bank (PNB) to the tune of Rs 92.3 crore.

The official said the overseas property was identified during the investigation after gathering concrete evidences of ownership.

Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are under probe by both Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and ED. The ED filed money laundering cases against them and others on February 15 on the basis of an FIR registered by the CBI.

The ED has to date attached properties worth Rs 4,765 crore of Choksi and Nirav Modi.

On December 13, the Interpol had issued a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against fugitive diamantaire Choksi after a request from the CBI, who acquired Antiguan citizenship in 2018. Earlier in 2018, the Interpol had also issued RCN against Nirav Modi, his kin and associates.

The ED had on May 24 and May 26 filed charge-sheets against the two.

Both left India in the first week of January, weeks before the scam was reported to the CBI.