New Delhi: From being a billionaire diamond merchant surrounded by glitz and glamour to be an absconding economic offender –there definitely are various shades of Nirav Modi.
But, the man at the centre of the multi-crore fraud had once cherished a musical dream. The disgraced jeweller had aspired to be a music conductor. However, destiny seemed to have other plans for him and music as a career never took off. Modi joined the family business of his maternal uncle and promoter of Gitanjali Gems Ltd Mehul Choksi.
At a tender age of 19, after dropping out of Wharton School, Modi came to Mumbai to learn the nuances of tading from Choksi. Modi comes from a family of diamond brokers in Antwerp, Belgium.
He made a late entry into the retail business in 2010. He later founded the Nirav Modi chain of diamond jewellery retail stores.
Currently, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi are being investigated by the ED and other probe agencies after a Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud that recently came to light.
PNB has alleged that both Modi Choksi, have cheated the nationalised bank to the tune of Rs 12,400 crore, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank.
Earlier this week, PNB had said the amount of unauthorised transactions could go up by more than Rs 1,300 crore from earlier estimate of Rs 11,400 crore.
The CBI and the ED have registered two FIRs each to probe the case. Both Choksi and Modi are said to have left the country before criminal cases were lodged against them. They have, however, denied any wrongdoing.
The ED, a central probe agency under the union finance ministry, is investigating if the allegedly defrauded bank funds were laundered and proceeds of crime were subsequently used by the accused to create illegal assets and black money.