New Delhi: An NDTV investigation has found links between money from Indian banks allegedly embezzled by jeweller Nirav Modi, and his US-based companies.
- Two overseas suppliers named in CBI complaint are based in the UAE
- These firms don't have a website, were not responsive on phone
- US firm controlled by Nirav Modi owes six million dollars to UAE firms
These links may shed light on the mystery of the final destination of Rs 12,000 crore (approximately $2 billion), the amount that Indian investigative agencies claim was defrauded by Mr Modi and his uncle, Mehul Choksi, also in the jewellery business.
In its formal charges, the CBI claims that loans Mr Modi took from Punjab National Bank to pay off his overseas suppliers may have been diverted elsewhere.
Two such suppliers named in the FIR by the Central Bureau of Investigation as recipients of 'embezzled' bank funds are Tri Color Gems FZE and Pacific Diamonds FZE, based in the UAE.
NDTV tried to trace these firms, without much success. Neither of these firms had a website, nor were they responsive on the phone.
And yet, both firms are shown as creditors of A. Jaffe, one of three US-based firms controlled by Nirav Modi that filed for bankruptcy last week in a New York court.
According to court filings accessed by NDTV, A. Jaffe (a legacy New York-based jewellery firm purchased by Mr Modi) owes six million dollars to Tri Color Gems and Pacific Diamonds.
Both companies figure as first and second amongst the top 20 unsecured creditors of A. Jaffe. Tri Color Gems is shown as being owed 3.3 million dollars, and Pacific Diamonds, 2.9 million dollars.
A. Jaffe, which posted a cumulative loss of 14 million dollars has loaned 11 million dollars to Nirav Modi Inc, filings show.
In their filings, the Nirav Modi firms, which include Firestar Diamond Inc. and Fantasy Inc. have said they had no involvement in the alleged wrongful conduct of their Indian partners.
Emails to the lawyer representing the Nirav Modi companies in New York remained unanswered.
"If the money was siphoned off (by Nirav Modi), then why would Rs 5,000 crores be recovered by the Enforcement Directorate from here? Then the whole money would have been taken abroad," Vijay Aggarwal, Nirav Modi's legal counsel in India told NDTV.
The bankruptcy court passed an interim order on Friday dissuading Nirav Modi's creditors and lenders from taking "action to collect debts from the debtor or the debtor's property."