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PNB scam: Interpol issues global arrest warrant against Nirav Modi’s step brother

NEW DELHI: The Interpol has issued a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against Nehal Modi, a step brother of Nirav Modi, the prime accused in the USD 2 billion PNB scam case, officials said on Friday.

They said the global arrest warrant against the Belgian national Nehal Modi, 40, has been issued on charges of alleged money laundering being probed by the Enforcement Directorate.

Nehal Modi is stated to be in the US and a Mumbai court has issued two open-ended (without deadline) non-bailable warrants (NBWs) for arrest against him.

It is on the basis of these NBWs and charge sheet that the ED requested for an Interpol (international police) notice against Nehal Modi.

The ED said Nehal Modi was the “protector and investment advisor” for the 48-year-old Nirav Modi as well as Mehul Choksi, another prime accused in the case.

Nehal Deepak Modi was born in Antwerp, Belgium, on March 3, 1979, and he knows languages such as English, Gujarati and Hindi, according to the RCN.

In its RCN issued against a fugitive, the Interpol asks its 192 member-countries to arrest or detain the person if spotted in their countries after which extradition or deportation proceedings can begin.

Nehal Modi has been named in the charge sheet filed by ED in this case and he has been charged with destruction of evidence and “knowingly and intentionally” assisting Nirav Modi in his alleged illegal acts.

“He (Nehal Modi) was looking after the affairs of Twin Fields Investments Limited and Bailey Bank and Biddle for Nirav Modi. Both these companies had received around USD 50 million from dummy companies of Nirav Modi which in turn received this fund from the fraud committed on PNB,” the ED said in a statement.

For Nirav Modi, it added, Nehal became the protector and investment advisor of ‘The Ithaca Trust’.

“The said trust got tainted funds to the tune of USD 30 million after extensive layering and two immovable properties have been purchased in USA from these.

“After the case broke out, Nehal Modi had dealt with the proceeds of crime and had taken away diamonds worth USD 6 million, 150 boxes of pearls from Hong Kong and cash of AED (UAE Dirham) 3.5 million and 50 kg gold along with Mihir Bhansali, another co-conspirator in the case, from Dubai,” the agency alleged.

Nehal Modi was “also involved” in destroying digital evidence like mobile phones and server pertaining to the case in Dubai.

In Choksi’s case, it said, Nehal Modi was “in-charge” of firms like Samuels Jewellers INC and Diamlink Inc.

“At his instance, these companies received around USD 19 million of proceeds of crime in the guise of royalty, advances etc from Dubai-based shell companies of Mehul Choksi,” the ED charged.

Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are alleged to be the main perpetrators of India’s biggest bank fraud case that came to the light last year.

The case pertains to cheating the state-run Punjab National Bank through fraudulent issuance of Letters of Undertaking and Foreign Letters of Credit worth over USD 2 billion (over Rs 13,000 crore) by the duo.

While Nirav Modi is in jail in London and is contesting his extradition to India, Choksi is stated to be in Antigua.

The Interpol earlier issued RCNs against Nirav Modi, his sister Purvi Modi and Bhansali in the money-laundering case.

The CBI is also probing this bank fraud in PNB’s Brady House branch in Mumbai.

Source: Economic Times