ED finds 47 entities related to Nirav Modi doing Rs 60-bn 'round-tripping'

File photo of Nirav Modi
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is investigating Rs 60 billion worth of round-tripping by 47 entities related to jeweller Nirav Modi (pictured). 

According to enforcement sleuths, the transactions travelled through at least five banks — State Bank of India (SBI), Bank of India, Union Bank of India, Syndicate Bank and Axis Bank. 

The agency is investigating alleged money laundering in the Rs 130 billion letters of undertaking (LoUs) fraud at Punjab National Bank (PNB), involving Nirav and his uncle Mehul Choksi.

A majority of such transactions took place between the UAE, Belgium and India, while some funds also found their way to New York. "Of these 47 entities, 10 are registered in Belgium, three in the US, 13 in the UAE, eight in the Netherlands and rest in India," said an ED official. 

According to sources, the ED found the funds received by Nirav's firms through fraudulent LoUs travelled through these banks to reach the beneficiary. "It was done through multiple transactions and even those transactions were split," the official added.

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The official added that the way the transactions were executed clearly showed that both Choksi and Nirav were working in tandem on all their business-related dealings. 

Earlier, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had said that over 120 shell companies in India and overseas were used by the two jewellers and these transactions were under scrutiny. The income tax department has been roped in to investigate these shell firms, suspected to have indulged in routing illicit funds.  The ED is working with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for further details of transactions made overseas.  The information has helped central agencies to identify transactions in any electronic form like real-time gross settlement or national electronic funds transfer. Typically, this data is available with the remitting and receiving banks. These banks send monthly data of all such transactions to the RBI. Meanwhile, the CBI is in advance stages of filing a charge sheet, which would pave the way to arresting Nirav.

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