Punjab National Bank fraud case accused and absconder Mehul Choksi has surrendered his Indian citizenship and has handed over his passport to the Antiguan government. Choksi had been taking refuge in Antigua for more than a year now.
Earlier this month, the Enforcement Directorate had attached a factory in Thailand worth over Rs 13 crore of a Gitanjali group company, which is owned by absconding diamond jeweller Mehul Choksi, in connection with the alleged USD 2 billion PNB fraud case.
ED said it has issued a provisional order for attachment, under the PMLA, of the factory premise owned by Abbeycrest (Thailand) Limited which is a "group company" of the Gitanjali group of companies.
"Investigations under PMLA revealed that Abbeycrest (Thailand) Limited is the beneficiary of the LoUs (Letters of Undertaking) issued fraudulently and unauthorisedly from the PNB to the tune of Rs 92.3 crore.
"During probe, this overseas property has been identified and after gathering concrete evidence of ownership it has been attached," the ED said in a statement.
Choksi, his nephew and diamond jeweller Nirav Modi, and others are being probed under various criminal laws after the fraud came to light, following a complaint from the Punjab National Bank (PNB) that they allegedly cheated the nationalised bank to the tune of over Rs 13,000 crore, with the purported involvement of some of its employees.
Both Choksi and Modi are absconding since the case was registered by the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Choksi was last reported to be in the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda.
"With this attachment, the value of attachment/seizure in the PNB scam is to the tune of of Rs 4,765 crore (approx). Further investigation is in process," the ED said.
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