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CBI files three fresh FIRs against fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi in Rs 6,746 crore fraud case

Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are already wanted by Indian investigative agencies for defrauding Punjab National Bank of Rs 13,600 crore.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday filed three fresh FIRs against fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi and two jewellery brands, Nakshatra Brands Limited and Gitanjali Gems Limited. The FIRs were filed on the basis of a complaint filed by the Punjab National Bank (PNB), bringing to light an additional loss of Rs 6,746 crore incurred by it and other banks of a consortium.

Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are already wanted by Indian investigative agencies for defrauding Punjab National Bank to the amount of Rs 13,600 crore. The fraud was discovered in 2018, and Choksi and Nirav Modi have been on the run ever since.

Notably, Vijay Kumar Wadhwa, deputy general manager of the zonal office of the Punjab National Bank in Mumbai submitted three fresh complaints to the CBI on March 21. The FIRS were against Nakshatra Brands Ltd and Gitanjali Gems Ltd, Mehul Choksi, who is the managing director of Gitanjali Gems Ltd and guarantor for Nakshatra Brands Ltd; Dhanesh Vrajlal Sheth, director of Nakshatra Brands Ltd’ and several others; including public servants, for causing an additional unwarranted loss of more than Rs 6,000 crores to a consortium of banks.

Details of 1st fresh FIR against Mehul Choksi

It was alleged in the first complaint against Nakshatra Brands Limited that the jewellery company is a division of Gitanjali Gems Ltd and that Mehul Choksi actively conspired with the accused listed in the FIR.

Between January 21 and April 1, 2010, the jewellery company and other accused, including Choksi, conspired to defraud a group of nine banks, led by Punjab National Bank, of Rs 807.72 crores.

What does the second FIR state

It is alleged in the second complaint that between April 1, 2010, and January 31, 2018, the jewellery company and the accused parties, including Choksi, conspired to defraud a group of 28 member banks headed by ICICI Bank Limited of Rs 5,564.54 crores.

Both complaints claim that the jewellery companies and the accused mentioned in the FIR engaged in account fudging, and money-siphoning and used approved credit limits for fictitious business transactions.

The group of participating banks labelled the accounts of Gitanjali Gems Ltd. and Nakshatra Brands Ltd. as non-performing assets and reported them as frauds to the Reserve Bank of India.

Involvement of Mehul Choksi in the PNB scam

Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are accused of defrauding the Punjab National Bank of Rs 13,600 crore. The fraud was discovered in 2018, and he and his nephew have been on the run ever since. Choksi escaped to Antigua while Nirav Modi is in the United Kingdom. Only two days ago, on December 15, the UK Supreme Court denied fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi’s plea against his extradition to India. According to reports, Modi has now lost all options and could be extradited to India within the next 28 days.

Choksi, who is accused of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, deception, and dishonesty, as well as property delivery, corruption, and money laundering, had argued that he is no longer an Indian citizen as he took Antiguan citizenship in 2017. However, Antigua has agreed to send him back to India to face the law.

Last year in July, however, the fugitive was given interim bail by the Dominican High Court on medical grounds. He was allowed to go to Antigua for treatment of his neurological condition. He has been granted bail until he is fit to travel.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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