Patna: An Enforcement Directorate (ED) team seized Rs 2.07 crore of diamond jewellery from a Gitanjali Gems showroom here in an overnight raid in connection with the Rs 11,400 crore Punjab National Bank scam by Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi.
A team from the ED’s Patna zonal office raided the showroom at Maharaj Kameshwar Singh Complex on Fraser Road. The raid began on Friday evening and continued overnight to end around 10am on Saturday.
ED sources said the operation was conducted on directive and inputs from its New Delhi headquarters, which is monitoring the agency’s nationwide action against diamantaire Nirav and his maternal uncle, Choksi.
Though many shops in Patna sell jewellery by the Choksi-owned Gitanjali Gems, the sleuths zeroed in on this particular shop after they got to know that Nirav directly supplied diamonds to it on credit.
Another registered shop, Mahalakshmi Jewellers, runs from the same premises.
“Nirav used to supply diamond jewellery on credit to this franchise shop belonging to Vijay Singh,” an ED source told The Telegraph. “The jewellery would be sold and money returned to Nirav. The franchise owner got commission or a cut on the amount.”
Store manager Upendra Yadav and Santosh Kumar Hota, who coordinates operations for Gitanjali Gems with this shop, were present during the raid and were interrogated. Their statements have also been recorded.
“Upendra, in his statement, accepted that diamond-studded jewellery came from Nirav on credit and was sold here. The money was returned to Nirav,” the ED source said.
Sources said PNB officials were also accompanying the ED team in the Patna raid. The seized jewellery has been kept in a locker with one of the bank’s branches.
Courtesy: The Telegraph