Diamonds are rare, and thus even rarer are the chances of a diamantaire defrauding a bank of more than Rs. 11,300 crore. PNB’s Brady House branch, less than a kilometer away from the swanky Nirav Modi diamond boutique in Kala Ghoda, Mumbai, became the epicenter of one of the largest banking fraud detected in the country under the Narendra Modi government.
On March 8, The Telegraph UK spotted Modi roaming freely on the streets of London wearing an Ostrich Hide jacket worth £10,000.
Exclusive: Telegraph journalists tracked down Nirav Modi, the billionaire diamond tycoon who is a suspect for the biggest banking fraud in India’s historyhttps://t.co/PpsjGeFEsy pic.twitter.com/v3dN5NotzQ
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) March 8, 2019
In a full fledged press conference today, Pawan Khera, National Spokesperson of the Indian National Congress tore into the unholy nexus between the fugitive Nirav Modi and the Indian government that allegedly opened multiple gateways to secure his safe exit.
Modi entered the United Kingdom (UK) on a golden visa. It is a tier-1 visa which British government issues to the outside the European Union (EU) investors on a commitment to invest about £2 million in UK government bonds or shares of a company. The visa was issued to the beleaguered diamond merchant on his Indian passport, which is revoked as per Indian Government. He has been on the run from India since January 2018. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a case declaring him an economic offender under a new law that was enacted in 2018.
But is this all just a mere eye wash for the people of India?
Since February last year, Nirav Modi travelled to UK, UAE, Hong Kong and Germany on a revoked passport. He was also stationed at Hotel Mayfair in London, on 15th, 28th, 30th and 31st March 2018. Later he took a flight to Paris and eventually seeked an asylum in Belgium. On enquiring about this with the Ministry of External Affairs, the ministry shockingly claimed that ‘while the passport had been revoked, it had not been suspended physically.’ Khera expressed astonishment as to how in this ‘digital age’ the ministry happened to give such a lame excuse.
Congress alleged that Nirav Modi, against whom the CBI has issued a red corner notice since July 2018, is currently running a business dealing in wholesale and retail sales of luxury Watches and Jewelry in specialised stores and design activities in London. While spelling out his exact London address, where Modi is currently stationed, (4th Floor, Scottish Provident House, 76/80, College Road, Harrow, London), Khera cites this to be the same address as that of his Chartered Accountants’ – Dattani CA.
Dattani CA were the registered accountants until March 2017 for Nirav Modi and their name has also featured along with 53 names that cropped up in Panama papers.
Congress also alleged that this apartment which is worth worth £8 million has been purchased by Nirav Modi in Cash. Taking a dig at the Prime Minister, Khera said,
“Modi had promised to bring back the black money, however, here people are taking away the money and fleeing from India right under his nose.”
Khera even mocked the ignorance of the Modi government by stating that despite Nirav Modi showing his Nationality as Belgium, the government of India was seeking extradition from somewhere else.