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Luxury cars of Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi receive bids of Rs 3.29 crore

Khushboo Narayan
The highest bid for Modi's Mercedes Benz CLS 350 was Rs 16 lakh, and for his Honda CR-V RV was Rs 10.26 lakh.

AN ONLINE auction of 13 luxury cars of fugitive diamond traders Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday received bids of Rs 3.29 crore, according to sources. The overall value of bids is over 9 per cent higher than the total base price of the cars fixed at Rs 3.01 crore.

The winning bid for Modi's most expensive car, a Rolls-Royce Ghost model, was Rs 1,33,10,000 - Rs 10,000 more than its base price fixed by the ED at Rs 1.33 crore.

While the winning bid for his Porsche AG was Rs 54.6 lakh, the highest bid for his Mercedes Benz 4Matic GL 350 CDI was Rs 53.76 lakh - over Rs 15 lakh more than its base price of Rs 37.8 lakh.

The highest bid for Modi's Mercedes Benz CLS 350 was Rs 16 lakh, and for his Honda CR-V RV was Rs 10.26 lakh.

The ED conducted the auction through state-owned MSTC Ltd, after a Mumbai court gave the go-ahead to the agency, last month, to sell Modi's cars - a Porsche AG, Mercedes Benz CLS 350, Mercedes Benz 4Matic GL 350, Daimler Chrysler Coupe, Rolls-Royce Ghost, Toyota Fortuner, two Toyota Innovas, Honda CR-V and Honda Brio.

According to sources, 10 of Modi's 11 cars put under the hammer attracted bids from buyers.

The highest bids for Choksi's two cars - a BMW X1 and a Toyota Innova Crysta - was Rs 11.75 lakh and Rs 18.06 lakh respectively, said sources.

The ED will submit details of the sale process to the court and will also deposit the sale proceeds with a nationalised bank in a fixed deposit, as per the court's order.

Last month, the Income Tax department raised Rs 54.84 crore from the auction of paintings and artworks owned by Modi.

Both Modi and Choksi are being investigated by Indian investigating agencies after the Punjab National Bank (PNB) complained against their companies, saying it had been cheated of Rs 13,600 crore through fraudulent issue of letters of understanding (LoUs) and foreign letters of credit (FLCs).

Both left India in January 2018, a few weeks before the scam came to light. While Modi is undergoing extradition proceedings in the UK after being arrested last month, Choksi has become a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda and is learnt to be residing there.

According to the ED, it has attached several properties of Modi in India and abroad worth about Rs 1,725.36 crore. Apart from this, the agency has also seized gold, diamond, bullion, jewellery and other valuables worth Rs 489.75 crore of the Nirav Modi Group.