Mumbai, February 15: While the Punjab National Bank fraud case has just come into light, the perpetrator has been identified too. He is Nirav Modi, a renowned jewellery designer who has stores in US, Beijing, Hong Kong, and India.
Billionaire Diamond Merchant Modi, born into a Gujarati family, founded Firestar Diamond and has a booming retail business across top cities of the world including Delhi, Mumbai, New York, London, Hong Kong and Macau.
In 2015, the inauguration of his first store in New York’s Madison Avenue was attended by Donald Trump, FortuneIndia reported. Modi’s retail market presence has expanded in recent years marking him as one of the youngest Indians in the Forbes Billionaires List 2017.
While his family was in India, the billionaire businessman grew up in Belgium, which is known as the centre for international refined diamond trade. Though he went to Wharton Business School, he dropped out and moved to India to train in the diamond trade under his uncle. Years later, he started the Nirav Modi jewellery brand and is known to have rich clients in the international market.
State-owned Punjab National Bank on Wednesday said it has detected a USD 1.77 billion scam in which billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi allegedly acquired fraudulent letters of undertaking from one of its branches for overseas credit from other Indian lenders.
PNB has suspended 10 officers over the USD 1.77 billion (about Rs 11,400 crore) scam and referred the matter to CBI for investigation. The finance ministry has taken proactive steps by asking the lender to report the matter to CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) so that action can be taken quickly.
Three other jewellers, Gitanjali, Ginni and Nakshatra are under the scanner with the CBI and ED looking at their arrangements with various banks and end use of money, a senior official of a public sector bank told the news agencies.