Published: Thu, February 22, 2018
Business | By Max Garcia

Gitanjali Gems plunges over 56% in six days

Gitanjali Gems plunges over 56% in six days

An ED official told IANS that the agency has also carried out searches at four firms which it suspected were shell companies.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday said it has frozen shares, deposits and luxury cars worth over Rs 100 crore of the Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi groups in connection with a money laundering probe against them in the Rs 11,400-crore alleged PNB fraud. PNB revealed that fraudulent transactions by billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi and related entities amounted to $1.77 billion (or over Rs 11,000 crore).

With Wednesday's seizure, the total value of gems and gold jewellery seized by the ED stands at Rs 5,736 crore.

Modi was summoned by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The ED also froze mutual funds and shares worth Rs 7.80 Crore of Nirav Modi and worth Rs 86.72 crore of those belonging to Mehul Choksi Group.

ED sources had said that the agency is talking to senior PNB officials and recording their versions to ascertain how Letters of Understanding (LoUs) are issued and other bank operations done.

The Central Bureau of Investigation was also probing the case.

Choksi, along with other family members are said to have left the country in early January this year.

The ED official said that Hemant Bhatt, already arrested by the CBI, was a Director or partner in 28 companies.

The ED and the Income Tax department have zeroed in on the dummy or shell companies in India and overseas that were being used to route or receive funds as part of the alleged fraud.

The stock tumbled 9.85 per cent to Rs 27.45 - its lower circuit - on the BSE.

The Delhi High Court today directed the police to investigate cheating allegations levelled against Gitanjali Gems promoter Mehul Choksi in an FIR lodged in 2016 by the owner of one of its retail franchise.

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