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Probe agencies turn glare on Mehul Choksi’s kin

Wider Investigation ED serves notice to director of Diasqua India, which is owned by Mehta family that is related to Choksi.

, ET Bureau|
Aug 05, 2019, 07.56 AM IST
Mehul Choksi
MUMBAI: Like Nirav’s Modi’s associates, Mehul Choksi relatives are coming under the glare of government agencies.

One of the directors of Diasqua, the diamond house controlled by the Hong Kong-based Mehta family which is related to the Choksis, has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate. A week ago, Nilesh Kishor Mehta was served a notice by ED.

A large and well-known supplier of diamonds, the 85-year old Diasqua group is headed by Tony Mehta, whose son is married to Choksi’s daughter.

Recently, four Swiss bank accounts of Nirav Modi, the main accused in the $2-billion Punjab National bank (PNB) fraud, and his sister were “frozen” by authorities in Switzerland following requests from ED.

Among other things, the Directorate may look into any stock transaction between Diasqua group and one of the subsidiaries of Choksi’s Gitanjali group. “Valuation of the share transfer by the Gitanjali subsidiary, and whether the transaction was a mere subterfuge to move funds could be examined by the agency along with other possible related party transactions,” said a source linked to the investigation.

The notice to Nilesh Kishor Mehta, who is based in Mumbai, was signed by Kuldeep Singh, assistant director, ED, invoking the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

“In the Palanpuri Jain community, many families are related to each other through marriage. And, obviously being in a business where trust matters, there have been dealings between them,” said an industry source.

Mehul Choksi and nephew Nirav Modi perpetrated the scam which involved raising large amounts against unauthorised letter of undertaking (LoU) – a quasi guarantee – from state-owned lender PNB.

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