Under Modi government, fourth looter escapes India with taxpayers’ money

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Modi government has gone a step further by assisting a bank fraud and then facilitating the looter to escape from India. Nirav Modi, a close relative of Mukesh and Anil Ambani is accused of committing India’s biggest bank fraud and then fleeing the country.

This is the fourth case in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tenure in which a looter known to the government escapes from the country with taxpayers’ money. But PM Modi boost of tightening the income tax and money laundering grip through Aadghar surveillance program on the common man while looters of the nation are being facilitated to move unharmed out of the country.

Absconding Diamond and jewelry merchant Nirav Modi committed bank fraud to the tune of over Rs11000 crore. This indicates that some bank officials in connivance with businesses exploited information gaps in India’s second largest PSU bank, Punjab National Bank to defraud the money.

The scam was unearthed after a PNB official from Mumbai filed a criminal complaint on January 29 against three companies and four people, including Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.

The most shocking part of the entire scam was that it was in the knowledge of PM Modi as Hari Prasad had filed a written complaint against Nirav on 26th July 2016 that was acknowledged by PMO.Despite 42 FIRs lodged against the accused, Nirav Modi traveled with PM Modi in the business delegation to Davos in January 2018.

Nirav Modi, the jeweler accused in the PNB fraud case, posed for pictures with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he was part of India’s delegation of corporate leaders.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s accusations of PM Modi favouring only the corporate leaders were proved as Ambani brothers niece Ishita Salgaokar is married to Neeshal Modi, Nirav Modi’s younger brother.

Rahul Gandhi in a tweet alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi acted as a ‘catalyst’ to facilitate the escape of Nirav Modi out of India.

* The BJP hit back at the Congress, retorting that the scam had actually “started during UPA’s reign in 2011.”

“It is the alertness of the NDA government which has brought this scam to light,” said Union minister Prakash Javadekar.

Now the question should be asked to Modi government If the scam began in 2011, how come the other banks, which were actually lending money to the companies based on fake guarantees, did not tip off PNB by simply demanding their cash earlier and How come the Prime Minister continue to sit on the complaint filed in 2016.

Why didn’t the government act to ban Nirav Modi, and other family members or company officials connected to the alleged scam, from leaving the country?

Launching a scathing attack on Modi government,Congress Spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said ‘Loot & Escape” has become the hallmark of Modi Government and stated “Post-escape of ‘Lalit Modi’ i.e. ‘Chhota Modi’ and ‘Vijay Mallya’, another ‘#Modi Scam’ has hit India’s banking sector the hardest. First, Lalit Modi escaped India. Vijya Mallya escaped India. ABG’s Rishi Agarwal escaped India.Now, we are told that ‘Nirav Modi’ has also escaped India.

Further Surjewala posed five questions to PM Modi
1, How did Nirav Modi/Mehul Choksi dupe the entire banking system through forged Letters of Understanding under the nose of Modi Government? Who is responsible for the biggest ‘Bank Loot Scam’?

2. Why did Prime Minister not take any action to protect the interests of the banking sector despite a written complaint having been received and acknowledged on 26th July, 2016? Why were all the authorities, including Finance Ministry, its financial intelligence units and all other authorities sleeping on their job?

3. DGM of Zonal Office, PNB had written to Joint Director, CBI on 29th January, 2018 (Annexure A-1) requesting
the CBI for a lookout notice against Nirav Modi, so that he does not leave the country. Despite all this, how was Nirav Modi permitted to escape the clutches of law and leave the country?

4. How was the entire system bypassed? How did the fraud escape the eyes of all the auditors and investigators? Does it not point to active complicity at the highest level? Who is protecting Nirav Modi/Mehul Choksi?

5. How did the entire Banking Sector’s ‘Risk Management System’ and ‘Fraud Detection Ability’ came to a naught?

Following reports that the jewellery designer left India on January 1, much before CBI received a complaint from Punjab National Bank on January 29 about a Rs 280-crore fraud,the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), on the advice of Enforcement Directorate, suspended the validity of passports of Nirva Modi and his business partner Mehul Choksi.

PM Modi brags about his reforms of Demonetisation and GST for controlling the money laundering and circulation of black money then how come Nirav Modi managed to get fraudulent loans inspite of lack of continuous monitoring of cash flows and cash profits, diversion of funds, double financing and general credit governance issues in banks.

Nirav owns a network of retail stores and 26 subsidiaries across at least 10 countries, designing and making jewellery for the rich and famous.

To reverse the negative narrative around India’s economy, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Modi announced the infusion of funds to boost the ailing banking sector involving Rs 2.11 lakh crore recapitalisation plan aimed at pushing banks to lend more, and thus, stimulate the economy but when politically connected business tycoons are being given funds then Modi government blames banks for working without due diligence.

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By: Arti Bali

Senior Journalist

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