PNB fraud Highlights: Nirav Modi is a founder of Global diamond jewellery house. He is the first Indian jeweler to have been featured on the covers of Christie’s and Sotheby’s Catalogues. Currently, Nirav Modi and the firms he controls allegedly defrauded the Punjab National Bank by seeking LoU and raising credit from foreign banks to pay its merchants.
A letter of undertaking (LoU) is a bank guarantee issued for overseas import payments. For past seven years, Nirav Modi and his three firms namely Diamond R Us, Solar Exports, and Stellar Diamonds were allegedly getting the LoUs from the Punjab National Bank. These bank guarantees reportedly helped Nirav Modi, and he raises the short-term loans from foreign branches of Indian banks to pay to its suppliers of raw material like rough stones.
The bank shares had closed 2% lower at Rs. 125.65 against the previous day’s closing on BSE. The money was transferred through a network of sorts. The CBI has said that a majority of the LoUs in the Rs 11,400-crore scam were either issued or were renewed in the bank in 2017-18.
In further trouble, the Income Tax officials provisionally attached 29 properties and 105 bank accounts of the beleaguered jewelry designer Nirav Modi, his family, and firms as part of its tax evasion probe.
The department also slapped the new anti-black money act against Nirav Modi for allegedly holding illegal assets abroad. The Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 deals with cases of overseas illegal assets, which till recently were probed under the Income Tax Act, 1961.
The new legislation has provisions for a steep 120% tax and penalty on undisclosed foreign assets and income, besides carrying a jail term of up to 10 years.
The Income-tax officials also filed a charge sheet against Nirav Modi before a special court in Mumbai under sections 277 A (false statement in verification), 278 B (offences by companies), 276 C [wilful attempt to evade tax], and 278 E (presumption as to culpable mental state) of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The court will take up the case on 27 February 2018.
The IT officials also pasted attachment notices at immovable properties of Nirav Modi, his wife Ami and his firms located in Mumbai, Surat, Jaipur, and Delhi.
Nirav Modi and his family are accused in a Rs 11,400-crore fraud involving on state-run Punjab National Bank. The accused are believed to have left the country.
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