September 11, 2018
After the Interpol issued a red-corner notice (RCN) against a close aide of diamantaire fugitive Nirav Modi, Mihir Bhansali, it has issued another notice against Purvi Modi, who is a Belgian national and the sister of Nirav Modi.
The RCN has been issued on the request of the Enforcement Directorate to the Interpol, as the ED seeks to interrogate her on the alleged charges of ‘money laundering’.
The red corner notice is an international warrant, which is issued for the arrest of a suspect. After the issuance of an RCN, the Interpol asks its 192-member countries to find out the person and arrest him/her for further processes like extradition or deportation. The RCN says Purvi Modi speaks three languages, including English, Gujarati and Hindi, and is a Belgium resident.
The investigating agency filed its first chargesheet under the PMLA Act in the PNB fraud case in May, in which the names of a total of 24 accused were mentioned, including Purvi Modi. Other names mentioned in the list were Nirav Modi’s father, brother Neeshal Modi, brother-in-law Mayank Mehta and his firms — Solar Exports, Stellar Diamonds and Diamonds RUs.
Nirav Modi’s key man Mihir Bhansali is also wanted by the Interpol. Interestingly, it was Mihir, the Director of Firestar Diamond, who filed an appeal before the US court for bankruptcy in February, just days after the PNB scam was detected. An examiner appointed by the US court in its report also said that Firestar International and A Jaffe Chief Executive Officer Mihir Bhansali were involved in assisting the fraud.
According to the US examiner, Mihir Bhansali went to the office of Firestar Diamond in Dubai a few days after filing bankruptcy in the US. In Dubai, Bhansali asked his Indian associates that no one should go to India and his name should not be mentioned by anyone. Later, Bhansali took hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and 50 kilograms of gold and left the city.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), probing the Punjab National Bank scam, has also started extradition process of Nirav Modi’s brother Neeshal Modi from Belgium. Neeshal Modi allegedly set up shell companies for Nirav Modi to route the money taken from the Punjab National Bank. The Interpol has issued a red corner notice against the duo.