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The Enforcement Directorate has attached assets worth Rs 177.72 crore belonging to fugitive businessman Nirav Modi in Mumbai and Surat under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

These include immovable property, eight cars, a plant, machinery, consignments of jewelry and paintings by eminent artists such as Amrita Sher Gill and MF Hussain. The property is owned by Nirav Modi and his group Companies namely, M/s Firestar Diamond International Private Limited, M/s Firestar International Private Limited, Radheshir Jewelry Company Private Limited and Rhythm House Private Limited.

It may be recalled that ED had registered money laundering case against Nirav Modi and others on  February 15 last year under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on the basis of FIR registered by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

It was alleged that Nirav Modi and others have committed the offence of cheating against Punjab National Bank (PNB) in connivance with certain bank officials by fraudulently getting the Letter of Understandings (LOUs) issued without following prescribed procedure and caused a wrongful loss to the bank.

Modi is accused of diverting over Rs 4000 crore from about Rs 6500 crore loan taken from the Punjab National bank to his companies and family abroad.

—India Legal Bureau

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