ED analysing 120 shell companies in PNB fraud case: Govt

People walk past as a CBI team seals the Punjab National Bank’s South Mumbai branch at Brady House in Mumbai.

The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) is analysing 120 shell companies in connection with the Punjab National Bank fraud allegedly committed by jewellery designer Nirav Modi, the government said on Friday.

The state-owned PNB has been defrauded of over $ 2 billion by fraudulent use of Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) allegedly by Nirav Modi and his associates.

“As per inputs received from the Directorate of Enforcement, analysis of 120 shell companies in India in the case of PNB fraud is being done,” minister of state for finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

The bank, he added has stated that the matter is under investigation and “it will not be in public interest” to share details along with the names of the companies as the same may hamper ongoing probe.

In another reply, the minister said the ED has filed two cases against Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and conducted 247 searches at various locations in the country.

He further said that total assets amounting to Rs 7,638 crore have been seized/attached till February end.