Why Nirav Modi made it to the headlines

by Madhvi Bansal
Nirav Modi

Nirav Modi has been quite popular with the media for about a year. Modi was accused of committing monetary fraud with India’s state owned Punjab National Bank back in February 2018.

Modi grew up in Antwerp, which is known as the world’s Diamond Capital and was also featured in Forbes in 2017 in the list of Billionaires but was dropped off in 2018. He owns his fabulous  jewellery store on Madison Avenue in New York. He is the first Indian jeweler to be featured on the cover of Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction catalogues. His brand has also been featuring at many other auctions internationally. Priyanka Chopra was the brand ambassador of Geetanjali Jewels.

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Modi owns the brand Firestar Diamond and lately he also launched his own Nirav Modi Brand with 14 stores in such locations as  Hong Kong, London, Mumbai, Macau and New York. When he appeared on the Forbes ranking of India’s wealthiest people, he was reported to have a net wealth of $1.8 Billion.

His designs were quite popular worldwide and were even worn by  actors and models across the globe including Dakota Johnson, Kate Winslet,  Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Priyanka Chopra-Jonas.

Despite so many of his feats, Modi pulled off the country’s biggest bank fraud involving a whopping 1.8 billion dollars. Apparently, Modi  obtained fraudulent letters of undertaking from one of the bank’s branches for overseas credit.  The Enforcement Directorate further conducted raids on the jeweller’s properties in Mumbai, Surat and Delhi. Also, a case of money laundering was lodged against Nirav Modi and others. The fraud is approximately 49 times the net profit posted by the bank for quarter ending December 31, 2017.

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Modi left the country in January last year and India’s Central Bureau of Investigation had supposedly asked Interpol to help locate him after the fraud was revealed. As per Modi’s statement, his companies owed less than stated and denied the charges. Lately, Modi was arrested in London in March and was even refused bail by the Westminster court.