MUMBAI: Tightening its noose against Mehul Choksi, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a chargesheet against Mehul Choksi and 13 others in connection with Punjab National Bank fraud under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
According to the sources in ED, the chargesheet filed in before PMLA special court in Mumbai, include five companies of Choksi, including Gitanjali Gems Ltd, Gili India and Nakshatra brands Limited.
The charges are filed under section 4 of the PMLA Act, where Choksi and these companies are accused of using fraudulently issued letters of understanding (LoUs) to the tune of Rs 3011.39 crore and diverting it from diverted from Dubai to several overseas subsidiaries of Gitanjali Group.
Apart from that fraudulent Letters of Credit worth Rs 3086.24 crore were used.
The move came two days after Mehul Choksi, who is absconding after the PNB fraud case, approached the special CBI court in Mumbai via his lawyer, seeking cancellation of two non-bailable warrants issued against him in April and May.
In his appeal Mehul Choksi has cited 10 reasons including “the recent trend of mob lynching” and said there is a threat to his life due to which he cannot travel to India.
“It is most respectfully submitted that there have been various reported cases of mob lynching and one of the cases was in relation to an accused who was mob lynched while being inside a jail. This recent trend of mob lynching is growing and is attempting to giving justice on the road by the general public, and subsequently there is no prosecution because of non-identification of a particular individual is giving rise to the said tendency (sic),” his plea says.
Among other reasons cited by Choksi in his plea, filed through advocates Sanjay Abbot and Rahul Agarwal, are his medical condition, revocation of his passport and “prejudice” of the investigating agencies.
He said that always responded to the summons sent by the investigative agencies.
Mehul Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi and others are being probed by various agencies after the PNB fraud came to light in February following a complaint from the bank accusing that they allegedly cheated the nationalised bank to the tune of over Rs 13,000 crore.