PNB Scam: Mehul Choksi's associate Deepak Kulkarni arrested in Kolkata
After months, authorities have finally made a break in the Rs. 13,000cr PNB fraud case. Late on Monday, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested Deepak Kulkarni, an associate of fugitive jeweller Mehul Choksi, at the Kolkata airport after the executive landed from Hong Kong. Kulkarni, believed to be in charge of Choksi's Hong Kong operations, will be produced before a court on Tuesday. Here's more.
Kulkarni was in charge of a Choksi-linked dummy firm
According to Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials, Kulkarni was a director in a Hong Kong-based 'dummy' firm linked to Choksi. Kulkarni had been named in the chargesheet filed by the ED against Choksi earlier this year, and a non-bailable arrest warrant had also been issued against the executive. Subsequently, the ED had issued a Look-out Circular (LoC) against Kulkarni to try and nab him.
The ED wants to take Kulkarni to Mumbai
Upon landing at the Kolkata airport, Kulkarni was arrested by officials under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). While Kulkarni is expected to be produced before a court on Tuesday, the ED is seeking a transit remand to take the executive to Mumbai, where the case against him has been registered. Owing to his close links to Choksi, Kulkarni might prove to be valuable in the ED's investigation into the fraud.
Choksi and Nirav Modi are still absconding
Meanwhile, both Mehul Choksi, and his nephew Nirav Modi, remain absconding. The diamantaire duo are the prime accused in the Rs. 13,000cr PNB fraud case, which was purportedly carried out in connivance with bank officials. Recently, the ED attached assets in excess of Rs. 400cr belonging to Choksi and Modi in both India and abroad. In total, more than Rs. 4,744cr of assets have been attached in the case so far.