New Delhi: The ED Thursday said it has attached assets worth Rs 24.77 crore in India and abroad of fugitive diamond jeweller Mehul Choksi, accused in the over Rs 13,000 crore PNB loan fraud and money laundering case.The attached properties include three commercial assets based in Dubai, a Mercedes Benz car and a number of fixed deposits in bank accounts in the country and outside, the agency said. The total value of the attached properties is Rs 24.77 crore, it said. According to the statement, a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) has been issued, the Enforcement Directorate said in a statement. Out of the total proceeds of crime worth Rs 6,097.73 crore, the ED has attached and seized properties worth Rs 2,534.7 crore, including this attachment, it said.
Relief efforts for Afghanistan received a boost today as the United Nations and the Government of Uzbekistan agreed on measures to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to northern Afghanistan by UN agencies and international non-governmental organizations.The agreement signed in Tashkent is expected to accelerate administrative procedures to ensure that aid gets to Afghanistan’s under-supplied provinces, including delivery across the recently opened Friendship Bridge.In news from the field, UN officials said there were some signs of stability and normalcy returning to parts of Afghanistan, including the return over the past week of more than 14,000 people to various parts of the country.The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), however, was cautioning Afghans not to rush back. The agency also warned countries in the region not to hurry the return home of any of the more than 3.5 million refugees as the security situation in many parts of the country remained tense.The agency also reported that refugees from the Kandahar area, mainly from the Pashtun ethnic group, continued to arrive in Pakistan.Meanwhile, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) reported that a private truck carrying WFP wheat slipped off an icy bridge in northeastern Afghanistan, killing the driver instantly and injuring his assistant.WFP also said that Afghan “customs officers” were trying to collect the equivalent of $150 for each truck crossing with aid from Iran. Furthermore, transporters crossing the Turkmen-Afghan border were reporting that the Herat authorities were forcing them to move cargo south through Herat first before proceeding northeast to the final destination in Badghis.”This is an entirely unnecessary, out-of-the way route which drives up our costs and slows down food delivery,” said agency spokesman Jordan Day. “These bureaucratic impediments are wholly unacceptable given the extraordinary food needs in Badghis and Ghor.”