India's Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday said fugitive businessman Nirav Modi's sister has "remitted" over Rs 17 crore from a UK bank account to that of the Indian government after she was allowed pardon from criminal proceedings in lieu of extending help in the PNB loan fraud case.
"On June 24, Purvi Modi intimated Enforcement Directorate that she had received the knowledge of one bank account in London, United Kingdom in her name, which was opened at the behest of her brother Nirav Modi and that the funds did not belong to her."
"As Purvi Modi was allowed tender of pardon on conditions of making full and true disclosure, she remitted an amount of USD 23,16,889.03 from her UK bank account to the bank account of the government of India, Directorate of Enforcement," the central probe agency said in a statement.
Purvi Modi alias Purvi Mehta (47) and her husband Maiank Mehta were granted the 'tender of pardon' in the case by a special Mumbai PMLA court in January on the condition that they will make "full and true disclosure" and help the agency in the probe.
Purvi and her husband are British citizens and have never joined the probe.
With the "cooperation" of Purvi Modi, it said, the ED has been able to recover about Rs 17.25 crore (USD 2316889.03) from the proceeds of crime, it said.
According to the agency, Purvi Modi had assured the ED that she would help the agency in getting confiscated assets worth Rs 579 crore that included flats in New York and London and swiss bank deposit.
The ED had earlier got issued an Interpol arrest warrant against her in 2018 and had filed two charge sheets under the criminal provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in which she and her husband were arraigned as accused in the alleged bank loan fraud case.
In her application made to the court for pardon, Purvi Modi had said that she was not a prime accused and has been attributed only a limited role by the investigating agency.
She had said that she fully cooperated with the ED in this investigation by providing all requisite information and documents.
Her plea said that on account of being Nirav Modi's sister, she was in a unique position to provide "substantial and important evidence, information, proof, and documents and access to bank accounts, assets, companies and entities that are relevant to Nirav Modi and his actions/dealings".
The ED had earlier said the assets in the names of Purvi Modi or her companies, that are expected to be repatriated with her help are: A Rs 19.5 crore worth flat near Breach Candy on Bhulabhai Desai Road in Mumbai, two flats in Central Park south area of New York (in the name of a trust) wroth Rs 36.52 crore and Rs 182.82 crore respectively, two swiss bank account deposits worth Rs 168.08 crore and Rs 108.23 crore, a Rs 62.1 crore flat at Marylebone Road in London and bank deposits worth Rs 1.96 crore kept in a Syndicate Bank branch at Nariman Point in Mumbai.
Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, both prime accused in the case, along with others are being probed by the ED on money laundering charges for allegedly perpetrating an over USD 2 billion (more than Rs 13,000 crore) bank fraud in connivance with bank officials and by issuance of fraudulent Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) at the Brady House PNB branch in Mumbai.
Nirav Modi, 50, is presently lodged in a UK jail and has lost his extradition plea to India in connection with this case that is also being investigated by the CBI.
The ED had issued a statement last month saying that about 40 per cent of the money lost by banks in alleged frauds perpetrated by fugitive businessmen Nirav Modi, Choksi and businessman Vijay Mallya has been recovered so far due to its "swift" action in attaching and freezing their assets.
With PTI inputs