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After PNB fraud case, Nirav Modi ‘moved’ Rs 89 crore from Singapore to Zurich

Khushboo Narayan
Nirav Modi, 48, is currently in jail in UK.

Fugitive diamond jeweller Nirav Modi allegedly moved around Rs 89 crore from Singapore to Switzerland a few months after India registered a criminal case against him in connection with the Rs 13,500-crore fraud at the Punjab National Bank (PNB), said officials familiar with the case.

Apart from this, Modi, through his associates, also removed diamonds worth about Rs 66 crore, cash of Rs 6.5 crore, 150 boxes of pearl and 50 kilograms of gold from his firms in Dubai and Hong Kong, while he was being probed by government agencies in India, said sources.

Modi, 48, who is currently in jail in UK, transferred money in two tranches from the Singapore bank account of Belvedere Holdings Group Ltd, a firm controlled by him through his sister Purvi Modi to EFG Bank AG, Zurich, allegedly to avoid attachment of assets by probe agencies, said a source.

Probe agencies have also found that Subhash Parab, an employee of Modi's firm Firestar International Pvt Ltd (FIPL), is in Egypt.

In July 2018, Interpol issued a red notice against Parab, 46, along with Nirav Modi under charges of criminal conspiracy, breach of trust, cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property.

Parab, according to investigators, is crucial to the probe, as he was in-charge of monitoring incoming and outgoing transactions of six Hong Kong companies that received over Rs 8200 crore from the letters of undertaking (LoU) issued by PNB, on behalf of Nirav Modi.

Fraudulent LoUs worth $3,741.93 million (approximately Rs 24,000 crore) were issued to firms allegedly controlled by Modi between 2011 and 2018. Of this, the total current outstanding fraudulent LoUs is $ 1,015.34 million.

The Indian Express had in June 2018, reported that at least 12 directors of firms controlled by Modi in Hong Kong and Dubai were shifted to Cairo against their will by Nirav Modi and his associates. While some of these directors have returned to India, Parab is yet to come back.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) have also found that Modi has a business visa or residency visa of over seven countries. Modi has business visa of Canada (valid up to 2019), USA (valid up to 2020), UK (valid up to 2025) and Schengen countries (valid up to 2019). He also has employment and residence visa of Hong Kong, Dubai and Singapore.

Meanwhile, a UK court that denied bail to Modi twice, will hear the extradition case against Modi on April 26.

India has sought Modi's extradition for alleged "high value and sophisticated" fraud and money laundering.