Saturday, December 4, 2021

Interpol issues Red Corner Notice to Nirav Modi’s brother Nehal in PNB scam


The Interpol has issued Red Notice against Nehal Modi, the brother of fugitive diamond trader Nirav Modi, in connection with the alleged Rs 13,600 crore fraudulent bank transactions at the Punjab National Bank (PNB).

Nehal, 40, a Belgium citizen, is allegedly accused of money laundering. He is currently holed up in the US, sources said.

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Earlier this year, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had requested the Interpol to issue a Red Notice against Nehal for his role in helping Nirav launder bank funds.

The ED has found that Nehal “knowingly and intentionally” assisted Nirav in concealing the alleged laundering of money and “destroying evidence”.

Detailing the role of Nehal, the ED complaint had said, “… after the crisis (Rs 13,600 crore scam at Punjab National Bank), Nehal Modi, brother of Mr Nirav Modi destroyed all the cell phones of all dummy directors in Dubai and Hong Kong and arranged for their tickets to Cairo — a safe heaven”.

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The Indian Express earlier reported that Nirav Modi had created over 15 dummy companies overseas to allegedly rotate the funds acquired through letters of undertaking (LoU) from PNB “in the guise of export-import transactions”.

The agency has now identified at least 17 dummy directors of these companies.

All these dummy directors are either employees or ex-employees of the Nirav’s firms who earned salaries of Rs 8,000 to Rs 30,000 per month for rendering their services.

Related: Nirav Modi Remanded to Custody in UK Prison Until September 19 in Money Laundering Case

Relying on the statements of two witnesses, including a dummy director, the ED said that after the scam broke at PNB, the dummy directors “wished” to return to India but were “persuaded” to stay back, and Nehal “visited Dubai and took lead in the matter and destroyed all the mobiles of dummy company managers/directors”.

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The ED, in its prosecution complaint against Nirav in court, alleged that Nehal was “personally overseeing that all the accounts, records were eliminated and was influencing the employees and participated to annihilate the evidences” after the Indian agencies began probing the scam.

The ED has also alleged that Nehal siphoned about 50 kg gold from Nirav’s Dubai-based company, as well as cash and 150 boxes of pearls from Hong Kong.

The ED has claimed Nehal is a director of two companies that received Rs 335.95 crore from Nirav’s dummy companies.

Earlier, the Interpol issued Red Notices against Nirav and his sister Purvi Modi Mehta.

Nirav Modi is currently behind bars in the UK facing extradition charges in connection with the PNB scam.


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