Intensifying the probe into the country's biggest banking fraud, the government has identified as many as 150 shell companies related to billionaire Nirav Modi, his relatives and associates, according to a senior official.
As a multi-agency probe is underway in the USD 1.77 billion fraud perpetrated at state-owned Punjab National Bank, the corporate affairs ministry has identified 150 shell companies for investigation.
A senior government official today said that in parallel with the actions of the law enforcement agencies and income tax authorities, the ministry "has identified 150 shell companies for investigation".
Generally, shell companies are those used for illicit fund flows and do not have much business activities.
The CBI and ED continued their crackdown on the bank fraud, registering a fresh case against Nirav Modi's maternal uncle Mehul Choksi and claimed to have seized ornaments worth Rs 549 crore during raids today.
Choksi, Managing Director of listed Gitanjali Gems, has also come under the lens of markets regulator Sebi and stock exchanges.
Punjab National Bank has disclosed USD 1.77 billion (nearly Rs 11,400 crore) fraud perpetrated by way of fraudulently procured Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) of the lender.