Billionaire in India’s multi-billion bank scam blames exposure for slow business, inability to pay back

NEW DELHI, Feb. 22 — India’s billionaire jewelry trader Nirav
Modi, who is accused of defrauding a state-run bank to the tune of 1.77
billion U.S. dollars, has written a letter to the concerned bank saying the
exposure of the scam has hit his business and his ability to repay his
dues, reported the Press Trust of India (PTI).

The scam was dubbed as the largest in the history of the country’s banking
industry.Claiming to have “seen” the letter dated Feb 15/16, the Indian
news agency reported that Modi wrote that the Punjab National Bank (PNB)
exaggerated his liability, and this has led to seizure of his businesses.He
also said his companies owed to the bank only half of what was being
claimed by the bank, i.e. at below 800 million U.S. dollars only.”The
erroneously cited liability resulted in a media frenzy which led to
immediate search and seizure of operations, and which in turn resulted in
‘Firestar International’ and ‘Firestar Diamond International’ effectively
ceasing to be going-concerns,” he reportedly wrote in the letter.”This
thereby jeopardised our ability to discharge the dues of the group to the
banks. In the anxiety to recover your dues immediately, despite my offer,
your actions have destroyed my brand and the business and have now
restricted your ability to recover all the dues, leaving a trail of unpaid
debts.”Nirav, along with his uncle Mehul Choksi, an alleged co-accused,
reportedly fled the country and has been hiding in the United States since
early January, before the financial scam broke out in the media. – XINHUA