Nirav Modi: The man PNB thinks is responsible for embezzling over Rs 11000 crores

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 15, 2018 11:17 hrs
Nirav Modi (Image Courtesy: Facebook)

Nirav Modi may appear suave and elegant but not to officials of Punjab National Bank.

The bank has complained to the Central Bureau of Investigation that Modi, India's richest diamond trader, may be responsible for siphoning off $1.77 billion or just over Rs 11000 crores from its Mumbai branch.

This would be the bank's second complaint in nearly a month, where it has indicated Modi's involvement in the scam. The first complaint was filed during the third week of January 2018. The bank had then complained that Modi had a major hand in the Rs 280 crore fraud. Subsequent investigations made the bank revise the extent of the letters of understanding scam to a whopping $ 1.77 billion (Rs 11400 crores).

Along with Modi, three other big-name jewellery brands - Gitanjali Gems, Ginni and Nakshatra - were reported to be under investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), by the Press Trust of India.

So, who then is this suddenly infamous Modi?

1. Nirav Modi's Firestar (known previously as Firestone) is a diamond sourcing and trading company based in Mumbai. Modi's affluence comes from the fact that he grew up amid a family of diamantaires, in Antwerp, Belgium, considered to be the world's diamond hub.

2. A Wharton dropout, Modi trained under his uncle- Mehul Choksi (Managing Director of Gitanjali Gems), opening 16 stores in locations such as Mumbai, Delhi, New York, London, Hong Kong and Macau. Although a recent entrant to the billionaire club, Forbes pegs his real-time wealth at $1.73 billion.

3. His fan-following includes the who's who of Hollywood. Hollywood actresses like Rosie Huntington Whitely and Dakota Johnson love his designs. Johnson, in fact, wore earrings and bangles from Modi's Embrace collection to the Golden Globes .

4. A regular at Auction houses like Sotheby's and Christie's, Modi's popularity soared with the auction of his Golconda Lotus necklace. The necklace, featuring a rare 12.29 carat diamond, and exclusive Ainra cut diamonds was sold at a Christie's auction for Rs 16.29 crore.

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