Paintings, cars of Nirav Modi to be auctioned

Mumbai: A special court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) has granted permission to the Income Tax Department (I-T) to auction the paintings and cars of Nirav Modi, the fugitive businessman whom the Scotland Yard arrested on Tuesday afternoon (local time) in London.

“A special PMLA court has allowed Income Tax Department’s application to auction some paintings from the collection of Nirav Modi. All those paintings have been seized by the Enforcement Directorate (ED),” said sources.

I-T Department had filed an application to seek permission from the special court as it had already published the auction notice. Modi is also a defaulter for the Income Tax Dept. “Through the auction, I-T Department wishes to make some recovery,” they said.

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Sources said the court has allowed I-T to go ahead with the auction by the end of this month, but “all the proceeds of this auction are to be deposited in the special PMLA court.”

It is said 173 paintings and 11 cars of Modi will be auctioned.

The Scotland Yard has said that Nirav Modi was arrested “on behalf of Indian authorities on Tuesday afternoon (local time) in Holborn. He will appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court tomorrow (Wednesday, 20 March).”

“Nirav Deepak Modi was arrested on behalf of the Indian authorities this afternoon (Tuesday, 19 March) in Holborn. He will appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court tomorrow (Wednesday, 20 March),” said the Scotland Yard in a statement.

The extradition process of Modi is likely to be initiated once he is produced in the Court in London.

The fugitive diamond merchant Modi is wanted for his alleged involvement in Rs 13,000 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan default case.

A non-bailable warrant (NBW) has also been issued against Ami Modi, wife of Nirav, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), said ED sources.

A London court on Monday had issued an arrest warrant against diamond merchant Modi. The arrest warrant was issued by the Westminster Court, sources said.

The arrest of Modi comes days after the fugitive businessman was tracked down to a 33-storey Centre Point Apartment complex in London’s Theatre district.

The tower was an office complex and was converted into luxury residences with prices ranging from £2 million to £55 million all with superb views over the city of London.

Modi was believed to be living in a property worth £8 million apartments in the tower. The rent for a similar apartment in the tower comes to approximately £17,000 a month, had stated Daily Telegraph.

One of the prime accused in the PNB scam in India, Modi is the subject of an extradition request by India, along with an Interpol Red Corner Notice being issued against him. Modi is the prime accused in Rs 13,000 crore PNB loan fraud case, along with his uncle Mehul Choksi.

Choksi was granted citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda on January 15, 2018. Both Modi and Choksi left India in January last year before the PNB scam came out in the public. The duo has not returned to India despite repeated summons from probe agencies and courts.


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