PNB scam: CBI approaches Interpol for help with Nirav Modi
The CBI is acting to ensure the man behind India's biggest fraud case isn't able to escape prosecution. Billionaire jeweler Nirav Modi left India on January 1, weeks before it was officially revealed that he had duped PNB of Rs. 11,400cr. His associates followed. CBI has now approached the Interpol to issue a Diffusion Notice against Modi and his family. Here's what's happening.
Nirav Modi, India's celebrated jeweler who broke records
Nirav Modi is the first Indian to be featured on the cover of a Christie's auction catalogue. His clientele includes the uber rich in the glamor world. Titanic actor Kate Winslet wore his creations at the 2016 Oscars Red Carpet. His company has stores in London, New York, Hong Kong and more. Mehul Choksi, Gitanjali Gems chairman and his uncle, helped him in business.
How Modi and his friends cheated PNB of Rs. 11,400cr
Modi and his associates allegedly embezzled Rs. 11,400cr from PNB during 2011-2016 on the basis of fake documents with the help of bank employees. Based on those documents, Modi got loans from overseas branches of Indian banks. The scam came to light last January, when Modi's companies sought another loan. But by then, the colluding employees had retired. PNB then discovered the fraudulent transactions.
Modi's family left India weeks before the scam was revealed
The scam came to light in January end, but Modi had left India on January 1. His brother Nishal, a Belgian citizen, had left the same day. Choksi left India on January 4, and Modi's wife Ami, an American citizen, followed on January 6.
Modi's passport revoked, jewels worth Rs. 5,100cr seized
Unlike in previous such cases, authorities have acted fast this time. Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Modi's passport had been revoked and a Look Out Circular issued against him. Meanwhile, agencies including ED raided his premises in various cities including Mumbai, Surat and Delhi and seized precious metals worth Rs. 5,100cr, officials said. The ED has summoned Modi and Choksi within a week.
Modi has made "vague" offers of partial repayment, PNB says
PNB has suspended 18 employees till now, including general manager level officers. It said Modi had made "vague" offers to repay some of the amount. Meanwhile, CBI had urged Interpol for a Diffusion Notice, which can be used to request their location or arrest.
Other frauds who escaped India after massive scams
India is already fighting for extradition of Vijay Mallya and Lalit Modi. The former has defaulted on loans of over Rs. 9,000cr, while the latter is accused in BCCI scams worth billions. Both are in the UK. Corporate consultant Deepak Talwar, accused of receiving kickbacks worth billions, is in the UAE, where he's been barred from leaving the country.