In a big win for PM Modi-led government, Switzerland on Thursday has locked down four bank accounts of fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi in connection with the nearly USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money laundering case.
Switzerland-based Banks accounts of Nirav Modi and his sister Purvi Modi have been frozen which have deposits worth $ 3.7 million and $ 2.7 million respectively. As per sources, the crackdown was down following the investigations carried out by the Enforcement Directorate against Nirav Modi in the PNB scam.
The Swiss authorities blocked Nirav Modi and his sister's accounts worth $ 6.4 million (approx.) after the India government informed Switzerland government over the theft and money-laundering case under which Modi is wanted by the ED in the country.
This development has come ahead of Nirav Modi's hearing before Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on Thursday in which he is set to appear via video link from prison for routine remand.
The 48-year-old is lodged at Wandsworth prison in south-west London since his arrest in March and will be appearing for the first time since his bail appeal was rejected by the UK High Court earlier this month, his fourth attempt at bail.
Nirav Modi was arrested by uniformed Scotland Yard officers on an extradition warrant on March 19 and has been in prison since. Under UK law, Modi is expected to be produced before the court every four weeks, with another remand hearing expected before the July 29 case management hearing currently fixed in the court's calendar. He is accused of defrauding Indian banks to a tune of Rs 13,700 crores.
Earlier in March, the Income Tax department auctioned the artworks owned by the absconding diamantaire Nirav Modi, for Rs 59.37 crore. The auctions took place after a special PLMA court had allowed the law enforcement agencies to sell 173 paintings and 11 luxury vehicles owned by Modi.
(With agency inputs)