'Nirav Modi could have imported watches for business purpose'
| Feb. 23, 2018, 11:35 p.m.
New Delhi/Mumbai, Feb 23 The Enforcement Directorate (ED) that seized over 10,000 imported watches from several locations connected to diamond czar Nirav Modi contend that the watches might have been imported for "business purpose".
The imported watches were seized from the 60 plastic containers from several locations connected to the diamond czar during the searches carried out in the last few days in connection with an ongoing probe in the Rs 11,300 crore Punjab National Bank fraud case.
"As he used to deal in designer jewellery, the watches too have been imported for the designer watch collection," said an ED official privy to the investigation.
"However, the purpose of imported watches would be clear after sometime as it might have been imported for gifting purpose also," he said.
The ED also seized 176 steel almirahs and 158 boxes linked to Modi over the last week.
Beside the imported watches and other items, the financial probe agency has also frozen diamond trader's bank account and shares worth Rs 43 crore.
The bank account which was seized by the ED had a balance of Rs 30 crore, while the shares were valued at Rs 13.86 crore.
On Thursday, the agency seized bank deposits, shares and luxury cars worth over Rs 100 crore belonging to the businessman and his group.
The agency has frozen Mutual funds and shares worth Rs 7.80 crore of Nirav Modi and Rs 86.72 crore belonging to his uncle Mehul Choksi of the Gitanjali Group.
The agency's action comes in the wake of its ongoing probe against the two and many others, including directors of their companies and bank officials for the alleged bank fraud.
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 bank on January 29 and February 14, respectively.
The Central Bureau of Investigation is also probing the case.