Nirav Modi, the man behind one of India’s costliest banking scams, is not only greedy but also immensely audacious.
While the Central Bureau of India is still probing into the details of his scam, trying to put a definite number to the crores of taxpayers’ money he leaked out of India, Nirav Modi has not an ounce of worry to show for the embarrassing situation he has tossed India into.
Until now Vijay Mallya, the Chairman Of United Breweries Group, was India’s king of fraud and misbehavior but Nirav Modi has clearly set the bar way higher. He engineered a $2 billion scam and then wrote the most arrogant and high headed letter addressed to the PNB.
We bring the letter to you in its full glorious audacity:
“In view of the recent actions by you, the authorities, and the extensive press coverage in the last couple of days, I must state my position to the extent it is relevant at this stage. The media suggests that the liability of the Nirav Modi Group is over Rs. 11,000 crores. As you are aware, this is entirely incorrect and the liability of the Nirav Modi Group is substantially less. Even after your complaint was filed, in good faith I wrote to you saying please sell/allow me to sell Firestar Group, or their valuable assets, and recover the moneys that may be found due not just from Firestar Group, but also from the three firms. The valuation of the business was approximately Rs. 6,500 crores which could have helped reduce/discharge the debt to the banking system.”
In the letter, Modi expressed his anger about not being allowed to sell his company’s assets in peace. We wonder why he expects a looted nation to let him finish off his formalities in peace.We wish he had exhibited some patience during his loot, and not stolen crores and crores in a matter of months.
Modi’s company, Firestar Diamond International, quashed the order passed by the Enforcement Directorate for seizure of movable property. It also challenged the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) that allow the ED to conduct search and seizure of property. We think this is another one of Modi’s ‘sketchy’ moves to avoid the system, and the judge hearing his plea thought the same.
“However, the erroneous liability resulted in a media frenzy led to immediate search and seizure of operations, which has in turn resulted in Firestar International Private Limited and Firestar Diamond International Private Limited effectively ceasing to be going concerns. This has thereby jeopardized our ability to discharge the dues of the group to the banks.”
At this point in his letter, we are starting to feel as if Nirav Modi is doing a favour to the CBI by returning money that is apparently being taken from him unlawfully. We’re shocked at his arrogance and wonder what gives a plunderer of gems so much confidence. He chooses to send arrogant emails to the CBI, instead of doing what thieves do when they get caught.
They either flee from the crime scene and lie low until the hunt is over or they own up to their crime and beg for forgiveness.
“I urge you once again to be fair, and in the interests of transparency, justice, the banking system and India as a whole, support my efforts to make good all the amounts that are found due by my group to all banks.”
It is almost funny when Nirav Modi talks about being fair. This is not a normal case of a loan amount being due, and a man being unable to pay the amount. This is a full-blown scam, involving crores of illegally loaned out money with no collaterals to back it up.
”I have business to run here, won’t be able to join!”
These were Modi’s words when the CBI summoned him for investigation. The CBI mailed Nirav Modi another time, saying, ”It is mandatory for all the accused to join the probe.” It wrote to him asking him to contact the Indian High Commission in the country he was staying in so that he could be brought to India. But it seems that Mr. Modi is too busy to get involved in trivial matters of law and justice.
The CBI had filed an FIR on February 14 against Modi’s firms Diamond R US, Solar Exports, and Stellar Diamond. But the story did not end there. CBI had to file a second FIR on February 15 against Choksi’s Gitanjali Group. Till today, 12 people have been arrested in connection with the case.
The Enforcement Directorate said it had frozen mutual funds and shares worth Rs 94.52 crore of the Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi groups. ED also seized 9 cars belonging to Modi and his companies. These cars include one Rolls Royce Ghost, two Mercedes Benz GL 350 CDIs, one Porsche Panamera, 3 Honda cars, one Toyota Fortuner and one Toyota Innova.
ED is also probing 120 shell companies allegedly linked to Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi. Meanwhile, the IT department has also attached a total of 141 bank accounts/fixed deposits of the group.
It is true that Nirav Modi is only one of the uncountable fraudulent businessmen operating in India right now. There are hundreds of businessmen, who are probably more treacherous and audacious than him.
Modi probably feels unlucky to be the one guy out of a million other unscrupulous guys, that gets caught by an Indian Intelligence Agency. This is probably where his frustration and arrogance stems from. It clearly doesn’t stem from guilt or regret, but from allowing himself to be careless enough to be caught by an even more careless and corrupt system.
If we started the blame game for this scam, we would end up pointing fingers at just about everyone concerned, including Punjab National Bank, the organisation responsible for filing the lawsuit against Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.
This scam is not very different from the other scams that have plagued India’s economy in the recent past, including the relatively less popular Jatin Mehta scam.
The same old story about unwarranted loans given to influential businessmen with no creditworthiness. That old tale repeats itself once more, highlighting how the apparent victim, Punjab National Bank, was responsible for victimising the entire nation’s taxpayers by forgetting about its rules and regulations in the face of Gitanjali Gems.
While we are trying to understand the reasons for Nirav Modi’s arrogant audacity, we absolutely reject his horrendous actions. We reject any man who thinks he possesses the ability to subvert the system and escape scot-free.
The system may have been careless enough to let him off once or maybe twice, but serious offenders such as Nirav Modi, will sooner or later, come under the scrutiny of the system and get destroyed.
Every system in every country has its loopholes. The existence of loopholes is not a justification for a citizen to break laws and pierce his own country’s system through its loopholes.
Every felon, with a violation of this magnitude, must be given harsh punishment to ensure that more dishonest men do not take the country’s hard earned money and constitution for granted.
Image Credits: Google Images
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