Jewellery stock of Gitanjali Gems were seized as it was being in direct control of diamantaire Mehul Choksi, who has refused to join investigation, and involved in money laundering, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) today told the Delhi High Court.
ED contended that the proceed of crime generated through criminal activities arising out of the scheduled offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) were “layered and integrated in the veil of huge bullion/ jewellery business of Mehul Choksi in order to project the same as untainted property, which includes the business of Gitanjali Gems”.
A bench of Justices S Muralidhar and I S Mehta were hearing a plea by Choksi’s firm challenging the alleged illegal seizure of documents and articles by the probe agency in a money laundering case in connection with the over Rs 11,000 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case.
In its affidavit, ED said, “The jewellery stock of the petitioner (Gitanjali Gems) has been seized with the reason to believe, recorded in writing on the basis of information/ documents in possession, that the petitioner company, being under the direct control of prime accused Mehul Choksi is very much involved in the process of money laundering.”
Billionaire Nirav Modi, his uncle Choksi and others are being investigated by multiple probe agencies after the scam came to light in January following a complaint by the PNB that they had allegedly cheated the nationalised bank to the tune of Rs 11,400 crore, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank.
The ED has registered the money laundering case against Modi, his firms and others on the basis of a CBI FIR.