NEW DELHI, March 2 — Disgraced billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, a
key accused in India’s biggest-ever bank fraud of 1.8 billion U.S. dollars,
has reportedly given a “concrete proposal” to state-owned Punjab National
Bank to refund the money.
In a letter to the bank, Modi has offered jewellery, current account
deposits and immoveable properties to cover his liabilities with the bank,
the Hindustan Times newspaper reported Thursday, quoting a source.The
proposal came even as Indian investigators have launched a major crackdown
on Modi and firms owned by him and his uncle and business partner Mehul
Choksi for their involvement in the scam that has rocked the country.
Indian authorities have seized 10,000 luxury watches and nine luxury cars
last week, apart from freezing his personal shares and mutual funds. Indian
investigators have also arrested 13 people till date, including top bank
officials in the case, though they have not yet charged Modi for the crime.
Even the bank’s chief internal auditor was taken into custody Wednesday.
Modi is said to have defrauded Punjab National Bank, India’s second largest
state-run bank, of 1.8 billion U.S. dollars, though he has said that he
owed the bank only 775 million U.S. dollars, in a letter shot to the bank’s
management. The celebrity jeweller is said to have fled the country and was
reportedly last seen in New York after his appearance at World Economic
Forum in Davos as a part of an Indian delegation. – XINHUA