India Today has accessed information that suggests that Priti Choksi, wife of fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi, has been an active part of the whole PNB scam and is also one of the major beneficiaries of the proceeds of crime.
While Priti Choksi has claimed in recent television interviews that her husband is innocent, exclusive details accessed by India Today show that she was an active part of the elaborate scam run by the fugitive diamond trader and also gained from the proceeds of crime that were laundered overseas.
Priti Choksi is also directly involved in laundering money that was defrauded from Punjab National Bank, an Enforcement Directorate (ED) investigation has hinted.
In 2013, Priti along with one person named Dion Lily-White, who was an employee of Gitanjali Gems in UAE, met CD Shah and his assistant Neha Shinde, to incorporate three offshore companies for her. Shah ran a consultancy named Magus Consultancy, sources said.
The three offshore companies are: Ms Charing Cross Holdings ltd, Ms Colindale Holdings Ltd and Hillingdon Holdings Ltd
In all the three companies, nominee directors had been provided by Magus Consultancy and Al Shalmali was registered agent for them.
Hillingdon Holdings was incorporated in Jabel Ali Free zone on November 24, 2013, and Priti Choksi was the Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO). Whereas in Japan, Arvind Kumar Shah, an employee of Magus, was appointed as nominee shareholder and director therein Hillingdon Holdings was the sole shareholder of Ms Goldhawk DMCC (former name Diminico DMCC).
Several companies of Mehul Choksi, like Diminico DMCC, which was changed to Goldhawk DMCC, a subsidiary of Hillingdon Holdings Ltd, were operating for the beneficial interest of Choksi.
On November 9, 2014, AED 6,00,000 (Rs 1,20,00,000 @INR 20/AED) were transferred into the account of Hillingdon Holdings from Ms Asian Diamonds and Jewellery FZE which was a UAE-based Gitanjali group company and a direct beneficiary of proceeds of crime to the tune of Rs 349.48 cr.
Ms Goldhawk had three immovable properties in UAE with a total area of 5123.08 sq ft, valued at AED 11,270, 776 (Rs 22,54,15,520).
These immovable properties were registered under Diminico DMCC and are still in the name of the same company.
Certain documents pertaining to Ms Hillingdon Holdings Ltd were recovered during the investigation viz:
1. Declaration of trust having name and signature of Priti Pradyot Kumar Kothari as beneficiary.
2. Nominee service indemnity agreement having Ms Priti Pradyot kumar kothari as beneficiary
3. Nominee Director Service Agreement having name and signature of Ms Priti Pradyot kumar Kothari as beneficiary.
The mentioned properties were attached by ED in 2019.