During the investigation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case, the agency has found that Nirav Modi laundered Rs 5,921 crore in 2017 using 17 shell companies based out of the country.
India Today has learnt that Nirav Modi used his firms - Diamond R US, Stellar Diamond and Solar Exports - and received Rs 6,498 crore through 150 fraudulent LoUs that were issued between February 2017 and May 2017.
The money was withdrawn from the overseas branches whose officials were recently questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
According to the agency, during the same period, Rs 468 crore was transferred to a branch of Axis Bank in India by one of the shell companies called Aura Gems.
"Two close confidants of Nirav Modi - Karthik Doshi and Shyam Sundar Wadhwa - were aware of the entire fraud and helped Nirav Modi in this money laundering," said an officer.
"Wadhwa helped in creating two dummy companies, namely, Sino Trader and Aruna Gems Limited, floated abroad and made Karthik Doshi and two others dummy directors/public shareholders by getting them to sign the relevant papers. In the view of above, we have reason to believe that Wadhwa has assisted Nirav Modi in the offence of money laundering," reads an ED document accessed by India Today.
"During the investigation, it has been revealed that Shyam Sundar Wadhwa is a close confidant of Nirav Modi and is in close touch with him. He was involved in the money laundering and in the aid of Nirav Modi. Therefore, Shyam Sunder Wadhwa is most likely a preview of various confidential information, which will help in unraveling the truth behind the scam," according to the document.