NEW DELHI: In another swift action on Saturday, the Income Tax department attached nine bank accounts of Mehul Choksi, one of the prime accused in the Rs 11,400 crore Punjab National Bank swindle.
On Friday, the I-T department had provisionally attached 29 immovable properties of Nirav Modi, the main accused in the case, and those belonging to his wife Ami Modi and various group companies. The department had also attached 105 bank accounts of Nirav Modi and his companies.
The Saturday’s action against Choksi is intended to choke all his financial sources by attaching his personal bank accounts and those of his companies. The attachment includes three of the personal accounts of Choksi in Bank of Baroda and Indusind Bank, three accounts of his Geetanjali Gems Ltd, two of Gili India and one of Nakshatra World Ltd.
The Geetanjali Gems Ltd had one account each in the Allahabad Bank, Indusind Bank and the Oriental Bank at Mumbai. Two of these accounts had NIL balance while the third had debit balance of Rs 2.29 crore. It appears that the accused had already taken out most of the money from his banks fearing their attachments.
Choksi’s own accounts in Indusind Bank and Bank of Baroda had balance of Rs 7.74 lakh and Rs 34,474 respectively. His third account in Bank of Baroda is dormant.
Mehul Choksi’s Gili India Ltd has two accounts in Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank with balance of Rs 40 lakh and NIL respectively. His another company, Nakshatra World Ltd, formerly known as Gitanjali Brands Ltd and Fantasy Diamond Cuts Pvt Ltd, had its account in the Nariman Point branch of the ICICI Bank with Rs 33.93 lakh balance at the time of attachment.
The Income Tax has slapped Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) Act besides the provisions of the I-T Act against all the accused and issued them notices, including against Nirav Modi and his wife Ami and brother Nishal.
In addition, the I-T department has already filed chargesheet against Nirav Modi in an earlier tax evasion case, the hearing for which has been scheduled on February 27. The I-T department is also probing at least 150 shell companies associated with the accused in its ongoing probe in the PNB swindle.
The CBI had carried out searches against Choksi and his companies, including Geetanjali Gems, Gili India and Nakshatra on Friday at 32 locations across the country. A similar searches were conducted against Nirav Modi and associates earlier by both the CBI and ED.