Assets worth ₹329.66 crore of the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud ‘mastermind’ Nirav Modi, which were earlier attached by the Enforcement Directorate, have been confiscated under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.
In the money-laundering case against the diamond merchant, the ED has so far attached properties valued at ₹2,348 crore.
The confiscated assets include four flats at the iconic building, Samudra Mahal, in Mumbai’s Worli, a seaside farmhouse and land in Alibaug, one windmill in Jaisalmer, a flat in London and some residential flats in the United Arab Emirates, besides shares and bank deposits.
On July 10, 2018, the ED had moved an application before a special court in Mumbai for declaring the accused a fugitive economic offender and allowing confiscation of assets worth about ₹1,396 crore, belonging to him and the entities related to him. The properties were earlier attached under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Through an order dated December 5, 2019, the special court declared Mr. Nirav Modi a fugitive economic offender and on June 8, directed the ED to confiscate the properties other than those mortgaged/hypothecated and secured to a PNB-led consortium.
“The said properties shall stand confiscated to the Central government under Section 12(2) and (8) of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act,” said the agency. The court further directed the consortium to approach the PMLA court to claim the mortgaged, hypothecated or secured properties attached by the ED.
“On examination of the attached assets, it was found that properties worth ₹1,000 crore were prima facie covered under mortgage, etc. Besides, the Bombay High Court had directed that sale proceeds of paintings [about ₹45 crore] be kept in fixed deposit till further order. Accordingly, assets worth ₹329.66 crore now stand confiscated,” said an official.
Mr. Nirav Modi is facing extradition proceedings in a court in the United Kingdom, where he is lodged in judicial custody since March 2019.