ED raids continue, Rs 11 crore jewellery seized from city stores
Kolkata: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has recovered diamond jewellery worth around Rs 11 crore after a marathon raid at two showrooms of Gitanjali Gems and its promoter Mehul Choksi in South Kolkata.
The raids, that began since Wednesday, witnessed the seizure after almost 60 hours when a team of 10 odd ED officers came out with sealed cartons on Saturday morning and deposited them with the main branch of the Punjab National Bank in the city situated at Clive Row in Central Kolkata.
Sources in the ED said that the recovery of diamond and gold jewellery was of Rs 8 crore from the showroom at Exide area while that from the store at Elgin Road in Bhowanipore was Rs 3 crore.
The raid was conducted in connection with the investigation of the PNB scam. The ED officials have been conducting search operations of Choksi's showrooms across the state and have recovered jewellery to the tune of nearly Rs 75 crore till date. "We will share the reports of the raid held in the state and the city with our Delhi head office," a senior ED official said on condition of anonymity.
According to the official, Kolkata has the second largest stock of jewelleries while Mumbai has the highest. In most cases, they have been selling through distributors or franchise holders. It may be mentioned that during the first raid on six locations in Kolkata and Durgapur, the ED officials had seized jewellery worth Rs 25 crore.
The mother brand, owned by the jeweller, had floated several jewellery brands over the years and were doing good business across the city with multiple showrooms and shop-in-shops.
Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday questioned businessman Kaustuv Roy and Shibaji Panja on the basis of an FIR against RP Infosystems for defrauding a consortium of banks that includes PNB.
The consortium of 17 banks had alleged that the city-based company has defrauded them of Rs 515 crore. The duo appeared for interrogation at the CBI office at Salt Lake CGO complex.