Gitanjali Group properties worth Rs 1,200 crore attached

Gitanjali Group properties worth Rs 1,200 crore attached
Billionaire diamond trader Nirav Modi (R) shakes hands with TRH Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. A day after a massive $1.8 billion fraud was unearthed in a PNB branch in Mumbai, the Enforcement Directorate launched a nationwide raid on Modi's the offices, showrooms and workshops.The multi-pronged action came a day after the Punjab National Bank admitted to unearthing a fraud of Rs 11,515 crore involving Modi's companies and certain other accounts with the bank's flagship branch (Brady House) in Mumbai and its second largest lending window in India.The fraud, which includes money-laundering among others, concerns the Firestar Diamonds group in which the CBI last week booked Modi, his wife Ami, brother Nishal and a maternal uncle Mehul Choksi.It is learnt that Modi - whose operations are spread across Europe, the US, Middle East and Far East besides India - has written to PNB and other banks that he would return their outstandings. (File Photo: IANS)

New Delhi/Hyderabad:  Officials of the Income Tax (IT) Department on Thursday said they have attached properties worth Rs 1,200 crore of the Mehul Choksi-owned Gitanjali Group in Hyderabad.

According to the IT officials, the agency has attached the SEZ (special economic zone) property of Gitanjali Group in Telangana’s capital city Hyderabad.

“As per assessee’s (Gitanjali Group) own valuation, it’s worth about Rs 1,200 crore,” an IT department official told IANS.

On Wednesday, the department had said that it has attached 141 bank accounts and fixed deposits of Nirav Modi’s companies and the cumulative credit balance in these accounts is about Rs 145.74 crore.

Letters of Undertaking and Foreign Letters of Credit were used to raise and rollover the amount over several years before FIRs were lodged by the Punjab National Bank (PNB) on January 29 and February 14.

Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, along with the directors of the Modi and Gitanjali groups, are under investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for an alleged Rs 11,300 crore fraud on PNB by using its Letters of Undertaking and Foreign Letters of Credit to raise and rollover money.

Both Modi and Choksi are said to have left the country, along with their family members, in early January.

The FIR also names two former bank employees for alleged direct involvement in the fraudulent transactions.

Three companies of the Gitanjali Group also find mention in the second CBI FIR for allegedly defrauding PNB of Rs 4,886.72 crore.