Afternoon Voice

‘Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi’s illegal bungalows to be razed’, says Maharashtra Minister Ramdas Kadam

Maharashtra Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam has announced that the bungalows of fugitive diamantaire and Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam accused Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi in Raigad district would be demolished as they are illegal.

Addressing the media after a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Kadam said 121 bungalows in Alibaug and 151 bungalows in Murud town in Raigad district are illegal and mostly owned by industrialists and businessmen.

“There are 121 bungalows in Alibaug and 151 bungalows in Murud that are illegal and mostly owned by industrialists and businessmen. Some locals also have illegal bungalows, there are 60 of them in Alibaug and 50 more in Murud,” he stated.

Stating that the Maharashtra government would take strict action against the illegal bungalows, Kadam added that he has instructed the district collector of Raigad to immediately demolish the illegal bungalows belonging to Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.

The minister continued, “The (state) government will take action against all these bungalows. Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi’s bungalows are also there. There are a few more big names on the list and action will be taken against them too. No relief would be given to those owning these illegal bungalows.”

The multi-crore scam was detected by the officials of the Punjab National Bank (PNB) earlier this year, after Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi had allegedly cheated the bank to the tune of two billion dollars, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank.

On Monday, the United Kingdom authorities confirmed that Nirav Modi is present in their country, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said. Earlier on July 2, a Red Corner Notice was issued by the Interpol against the fugitive diamond trader in connection with the scam.

On the other hand, Choksi reportedly took refuge in Antigua and Barbuda in July. After the scam was unearthed, Choksi’s passport was also revoked by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in February.