The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday auctioned luxury cars, sculptures and personal objects of value including watches and designer handbags, belonging to fugitive businessman Nirav Modi and his wife Ami Modi, fetching Rs 53.45 crores.
As per a report in The Hindu, a total of 112 luxury items in 40 lots including 15 artworks, a 2010 Rolls Royce Ghost and a selection of limited-edition luxury handbags, watches went under the hammer on Thursday in Mumbai.
The 1935 Amrita Sher-Gil painting, titled, ‘Boys With Lemons’ fetched the highest price of Rs 15.68 crore. Another painting by MF Husain titled ‘Battle of Ganga and Jamuna: Mahabharata 12’ fetched Rs 13.44 crore. Raja Ravi Varma’s Untitled artwork was sold for Rs 2.8 crore at the auction.
Among the bids were VS Gaitonde’s Untitled, which was auctioned for Rs 9.52 crore, and Manjit Bawa’s Untitled, dated 1992, sold at Rs 6.16 crore. Apart from paintings, Nirav Modi’s Rolls-Royce Ghost was sold for Rs 1.68 crore. Luxury watch Girard-Perregaux wristwatch got sold for Rs 95.2 lakh, Audemars Grande Complication wristwatch for Rs 78.4 lakh and Patek Philippe’s gold-diamond wristwatch fetched another Rs 72.8 lakh for the ED.
The sale also featured several branded handbags, including the iconic Birkin and Kelly lines by luxury goods manufacturer Hermès. A Hermes Kelly Blue Atoll bag tripled its estimate to sell for Rs 17.9 lakh.
Besides Thursday’s live auction, another 80 lots, including handbags and wristwatches, were auctioned online by Saffronart and raised Rs 2.04 crore.
The auction conducted by Saffronart was a complete success, raising Rs 53.45 crore for the enforcement directorate (ED). It is the first time a professional auction house had been appointed by the ED to conduct an auction of seized assets in the country.
The auction, sanctioned by court order, is part of efforts by the government to sell assets confiscated in criminal cases with the proceeds used to repay the debts to the banks. The Mumbai-based auctioneers Saffronart was selected to host the sales on behalf of the Enforcement Directorate.
Fugitive businessman and prime accused in the Rs 14,000 crore PNB scam, Nirav Modi is currently lodged in the Wandsworth jail in southwest London and has been denied bail on four occasions. Modi had been arrested in London on March 20, 17 months after he fled India.