Nirav Modi Fled India in Jan, a Month Before PNB Filed an FIR

Nirav Modi was also present at the World Economic Forum, six days before the bank sent its first complaint.

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Nirav Modi.

Billionaire jewellery designer Nirav Modi had left the country on 1 January much before the CBI received a complaint from Punjab National Bank on 29 January about a Rs 280-crore fraud, officials said.

His brother, Nishal, a Belgian citizen, also left the country on 1 January, while wife, Ami, a US citizen, and business partner, Mehul Choksi, the Indian promoter of Gitanjali jewellery chain, departed on 6 January, the officials said.

The agency issued a look out circular against all the four after registering the first FIR against them, they said.

A look out circular is issued by enforcement agencies to all exit and entry ports to inform them about the movement of an accused.

Modi was also present in a group photo of Indian CEOs with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, issued by the Press Information Bureau, at the World Economic Forum on 23 January, six days before the bank sent its first complaint against him to the CBI, according to officials.

The diamantaire is an India citizen but his brother, Nishal, and wife, Ami, are not Indian nationals, the officials said.

Nirav Modi, a regular feature on the lists of rich and famous Indians since 2013, was booked by the CBI, along with wife, brother, and business partner on 31 January, for allegedly cheating the state-run Punjab National Bank to the tune of Rs 280 crore.

The bank has sent two more complaints to the CBI on Tuesday, 13 February, saying the scam was worth more than Rs 11,400 crore.

ED Seizes Diamond, Gold Jewellery Worth Rs 5,100 Crore

The Enforcement Directorate conducted searches in several properties linked to Nirav Modi in Mumbai, Delhi and Gujarat on Thursday, 15 February, and seized diamonds, jewellery and gold worth Rs 5,100 crore, officials said.

ED officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said five properties belonging to Modi and the other accused in Mumbai were sealed by the agency. It was now planning to move the Ministry of External Affairs with a plea to revoke his passport, they said.

Agency sleuths swooped down on at least 10 premises linked to the case early Thursday morning. They searched Modi's residence in Kurla, jewellery boutique in Kala Ghoda area, three company offices in Bandra and Lower Parel in Mumbai, three premises in Surat in Gujarat and Modi's showrooms in Chanakyapuri and Defence Colony in Delhi.

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