Punjab National Bank fraud: ED attaches Rs 1,217 crore assets of Mehul Choksi group

The central probe agency issued a provisional order for attachment of Gitanjali Gems promoter's properties under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Published: 01st March 2018 11:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd March 2018 05:58 AM   |  A+A-

Pedestrians walk past a Punjab National Bank office in Mumbai, India on February 21, 2018. | Reuters

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday provisionally attached 41 immovable properties worth Rs 1,217.20 crore of fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi, who is wanted in the Punjab National Bank credit fraud case, and the companies controlled by him

The properties attached under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) include 15 residential flats, 17 office premises in Mumbai, one shopping mall in Kolkata,  one farmhouse in Alibaug (Mumbai) and six parcels of land.

A  Hardware Park in the name of Hyderabad Gems SEZ situated in Ranga Reddy District of Andhra Pradesh has also been attached. The park spreads over 170 acre and is valued at Rs 500 crore. Land in Nasik, Nagpur, Panvel, and Villupuram (Tamilnadu) were also attached.

Meanwhile, the CBI on Wednesday night conducted searches at two locations in Mumbai and recovered documents relating to applications of Letters of Undertaking (LoUs). “Based on the questioning of certain accused, searches were conducted by the CBI at two locations in Mumbai. Important documents related to LoUs that were hidden, were located from a small secret room in a chawl from Vadala area,” CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said.

Earlier, the ED had registered a money laundering case against Choksi and others on February 16 on the basis of an FIR registered by the CBI under IPC Sections relating to criminal conspiracy, cheating and relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

According to the CBI FIR, Choksi and others committed the offence of cheating against Punjab National Bank in connivance with certain bank officials by fraudulently getting the Letters of Undertaking/Foreign Letters of Credit issued without following prescribed procedures and caused a wrongful loss to the public sector bank. 

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