Nirav Modi fled to London seeking asylum in Britain. The biggest scam ($ 2.2 billion) linked to the jewelery world ♦ ︎
When summer comes, you can read more books with thriller stories. But sometimes you do not need to buy a book, just read the news. Which, in this case, concern the world of jewelry. And we do not talk about the usual theft in a jewelery store or in a house. This booty is much higher: 1.77 billion dollars, maybe 2.2. Other than Ocean Eleven or similar. And the most shocking aspect is that the alleged perpetrator is not just any robber, but one of the stars of fine jewelry: Nirav Modi.
Indian billionaire with a passion for diamonds, stones thats he knows well why he has lived many years in Antwerp, in order to follow the family’s trade, he has created one of the most exclusive high jewelery Maison. But at the beginning of 2018 he was the protagonist of a clamorous case of fraud. Now he claims political asylum in the United Kingdom, to escape the trial in India. Nirav Modi, in fact, disappeared already in February after the accusations emerged, which he called a “political persecution”.
The great deception
The accusation, however, is heavy. India’s second largest state bank, the Punjab National Bank (Pnb), claimed that two jewelry companies led by Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi with the Gitanjali Group had defrauded the bank for about $ 2, 2 billion. After this alarm, frauds arose towards other credit institutions such as State Bank of India, Union Bank, Axis Bank and Allahabad Bank, all exposed to the rich man and always smiling (now you understand why) Nirav Modi. The charges have led to an investigation that led to the closure of boutiques in India, starting from the Mumbai store, bank accounts and luxury cars. What’s more, it seems that Nirav Modi has played dirty even with the budgets of his company. An expert opinion on precious stones in stock, for example, has established that their value is only 27% of what was declared in the balance sheet. In short, Nirav Modi would have inflated the accounts of his precious empire by more than 70%.
The mechanism of fraud
But how did Nirav Modi and his uncle have $ 2 billion? The scam, from what has emerged, seems almost incredible. In essence, three companies linked to Modi and Gitanjali have asked for funds to pay for purchases of precious stones abroad. Fake purchases, though. Some bank officials let themselves be duped by the rich jeweler without following the right verification process. The loans, in short, were granted without checking whether they were covered by an insurance policy to cover a possible default. The scam went on from 2011 to January 2018, until a more diligent bank manager was not satisfied with the word of Nirav and associates. And a more in-depth check brought out the scam. Although it must be admitted that the strategy was brilliant. Like the diamonds. Federico Graglia