PNB scam: Celebrity jewellery designer Nirav Modi traced to apartment in Manhattan, claims report

After the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam worth Rs over 11,300 crore broke the entire nation was left in tizzy. The celebrity jewellery designer Nirav Modi, who fled away weeks before CBI started its investigation. Now, reports are saying that he has been traced to an apartment in New York’s Manhattan.

According to a report by NDTV, Nirav Modi is staying in a suite at JW Marriott’s Essex House, a short walk away from his luxe Madison Avenue jewellery retail store.

The leading news channel has also said to be accessed his suite on 36th floor. On Wednesday, there was much activity at the apartment, after the banking fraud broke in India. An employee at Madison Avenue showroom told NDTV, “This matter has no affiliation, legal or otherwise with Firestar International Limited which is the flagship enterprise of Mr. Nirav Modi.”

As a multi-agency probe continues against Nirav Modi for allegedly masterminding India’s biggest-ever banking fraud, the stock market dealings of his relative and business partner Mehul Choksi are absconding. Nirav Modi was also spotted at Davos in group photo with Indian business leaders and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which was taken on sidelines of summit which was held on January 23.

ED, CBI yesterday seized diamond and gold jewellery worth Rs 5,100 crore in nationwide searches and initiating the process for revoking Nirav Modi’s passport. The CBI and the ED moved separate applications to the external affairs ministry seeking the revocation of passports of Modi and his maternal uncle Mehul Choksi, the promoter of Gitanjali jewellery chain, both accused in the 280-crore bank fraud case the officials said.

CBI completed the analysis of computers seized from premises linked to him and was going through the two fresh complaints received from Punjab National Bank (PNB) on Tuesday that it had been defrauded of Rs 11,400 crore to decide its future course of action.

The day for companies and outlets owned or partnered by the 46-year-old diamond merchant, who has fled the country on January 1, began with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) carrying out searches at properties linked to him in Mumbai, Delhi and Gujarat and claiming to have seized gold and diamond jewellery and precious stones worth Rs 5,100 crore.

As many as 17 locations in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Jaipur and Surat were raided by the ED after the agency filed a Rs 280-crore money laundering case against Modi, his wife Ami, brother Nishal and Choksi yesterday, following a complaint by the bank.

The probe agency also issued the circulars against all the accused on January 31. It is to be noted that Nirav Modi, his wife and Mehul Choksi left India on January 1, 6 and 4 respectively.

(Inputs from Agencies)

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