Rs 11,000 crore fraud and an absconding billionaire

Raids conducted at home, showrooms and offices of super rich jeweller Nirav Modi

GN Bureau | February 15, 2018


#Punjab National Bank   #PNB Scam   #Nirav Modi  


Investigating agencies are looking for Nirav Modi, a billionaire jeweller, after Punjab National Bank reported a massive fraud of Rs 11,000 crore at a branch in Mumbai.

The story so far:


Nirav Modi is the founder of Firestar Diamond which has its footprints in London, New York, Las Vegas, Hawai, Singapore, Beijing and Macau.

What happened?

PNB informed the Bombay Stock Exchange on Wednesday of fraudulent transactions worth over Rs 11,000 crore in its south Mumbai branch.

Earlier on January 31, Modi, along with his wife Ami Modi, brother Nishal Modi and maternal uncle Mehul Choksi were booked by the CBI for allegedly cheating PNB of over Rs 280 crore in 2017.

So, what did sleuths do?

Nirav Modi's home, showrooms and offices in Mumbai, Delhi and Surat were searched by the Enforcement Directorate.

A dozen properties were searched, including Nirav Modi's home in Mumbai's Kurla, his jewellery boutique in Kala Ghoda, and showrooms in Chanakyapuri and Defence Colony in Delhi.

But, where is Nirav Modi?

Times Now referred to media reports that suggested the billionaire diamond trader fled from India before an FIR could be filed against him by the Punjab National Bank.

Is he the first super rich to flee?

No, there are others too. Vijay Mallya fled to London, Lalit Modi is in Britain, Deepak Talwar in UAE and Sanjay Bhandari reportedly fled through Nepal.

What does PNB say?

PNB chief Sunil Mehta assured that the bank was committed to clean and responsible banking. PNB will take full responsibility if investigations place the onus of the fraud on the bank, he said. The bank will conduct a forensic audit if the need arises, reported moneycontrol.com citing Mehta

What is the political reaction?


“Is it possible to believe that he or vijay mallya left the country without active connivance of BJP govt?,” tweeted Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “Guide to Looting India by Nirav MODI 1.   Hug PM Modi 2.  Be seen with him in DAVOS Use that clout to: A. Steal 12,000Cr B. Slip out of the country like Mallya, while the Govt looks the other way.”

 

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