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PNB scam: DRI sanctions prosecution of Nirav Modi's firms

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on Sunday sanctioned the prosecution of jeweller Nirav Modi and his three firms in connection with billion dollar Punjab National Bank fraud case.

The decision was taken as per the guidelines of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) on the prosecution of persons in duty evasion cases.

Modi will be prosecuted for misdeclaration of value and quantity of the imported Cut and Polished Diamonds, Pearls to Customs and diversion of the Duty Exempted goods to the domestic tariff area clandestinely.

He will also be questioned for the falsification of documentation and submission of the same to Customs.

Furthermore, he will be prosecuted for violation of the rules of "authorised operations" of the special economic zones (SEZ) and causing loss of Customs Duty to the government.

Modi and his three firms Firestar Diamond International, Firestar International Private Limited, and Radhashir Jewellery Company Limited have been found to be fit to be prosecuted under Sections 132, 135(1)(a), 135(1)(b), 135(1)(i) of Customs Act, 1962 and Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860.

If convicted, the quantum of punishment as per Section 135 (i) (D) of the Customs Act, 1962 for Modi will be up to seven years.

The trial in the said case is expected to be launched shortly.

The PNB detected a 1.77 billion dollar scam in which Modi acquired fraudulent letters of undertaking from one of its branches for overseas credit from other Indian lenders.

The scam was started in 2011 and was detected in the third week of January this year, after which the PNB officials reported it to the concerned agencies. (ANI)

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