Non-bailable warrant against Nirav Modi

The Hindu

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A Special Prevention of Money Laundering Act court here on Tuesday issued non-bailable warrants against diamond merchant Nirav Modi, brothers Neeshal and Nehal and father Deepak, sister Purvi Mehta, brother-in-law Mainak Mehta and others.

On June 8, Enforcement Directorate’s counsel Hiten Venegavkar moved an application before the court to issue the warrants against Mr. Modi’s family and Mihir Bhansali, sole director of Firestar Diamond; vice-president of the Firestar group Shyamsunder Wadhwa; former deputy manager of Punjab National Bank Gokulnath Shetty; close associates Saju Parokaran and Aditya Nanavati; authorised signatory of Modi firms, Hemant Bhatt; and an executive in Mr. Modi’s company Subhash Parab. Along with the accused persons, there are accused companies — Radhashir Jewellery Company Private Limited, Solar Exports, Stellar Diamond, Diamonds R US, Firestar International Private Limited, Firestar Diamond International Private Limited, Bentley Properties Private Limited, Mak Business Enterprises Private Limited, Firestone Trading Private Limited.

Meanwhile, a special CBI court on Tuesday granted bail to the single window operator (SWO) of Punjab National Bank who is an accused in the scam, while four others were refused bail.

Manoj Kharat, SWO of the Brady House branch of PNB from 2016, who has been in custody for 117 days now, has been charge-sheeted by the CBI for allegedly sending SWIFT messages to overseas banks which made undertaking of LoUs despite knowing the fact that there was no such facility sanctioned to the three accused Nirav Modi-owned firms — Diamonds R US, Solar Exports and Stellar Diamonds.

However, four other accused — Hemant Bhatt, authorised signatory of the three accused companies; Arjun Patil, senior executive of the Modi-owned Firestar International Ltd.; Prafful Prakash Sawant, an officer of the Brady House branch; and Vipul Ambani, president (investor relations and corporate affairs) of Firestar International Private Ltd. were denied bail.

Special CBI judge J.C. Jagdale said the four were denied bail because they had close ties with the main accused Mr. Modi. In addition, the judge said these accused were involved in shifting documentary evidence after an FIR was lodged against them.

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