Nirav Modi is on the run, as he has been accused of not only one of the biggest scams in the jewelry industry, but also one of the largest banking frauds in all of India.
For the past few years, Nirav Modi has been acclaimed as a designer, praised as a jeweler and admired as a diamond dealer. When in fact, Nirav Modi calls himself a ‘haute diamantaire’ he is now a fugitive. Hailing from a family of jewelers, Modi started a global diamond jewelry house in 2010 innovating in terms of stone cutting and setting, creating dazzling pieces of jewelry A-List clients, Royal Princesses or top actresses would dream of or even wear on Red Carpet occasions. It is believed that his fraud in question started shortly after, in 2011.
In 2011, Modi took out a loan with the Punjab National Bank (PNB), with a guarantee that the bank will repay the loan if Modi fails. Two PNB employees issued these loans, allowing them to be disbursed abroad. These two PNB employees are allegedly part of the fraud, as they continued to issue more loans, even when Modi did not repay his first loan. It is thought that over the years, the fraud embezzled over $1.4 billion!
Last September (2017) Nirav Modi’s stunning diamond pieces were to be found at La Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris described as the most-coveted jewelry. On February 2018, less than 6 months later, Nirav Modi is nowhere to be found and conserided as a fugitive. As we speak, the Indian government has confiscated all of Modi’s possessions, and the US subsidiary of his company Firestar International has filed for bankruptcy in New York City. Modi has store locations in Delhi, Mumbai, New York City, London, Macau and Hong Kong, and it appears that these stores have been completly abandoned. It appears that Modi, and his uncle who is also his business partner, have claimed the fraud was for much less money and requested time to repay their debts. Authorities thought that Modi was in New York City, but it seems he may have made it to Hong Kong. The Indian government has asked authorities in Hong Kong to arrest Modi and his uncle.
Published in a Times of India article, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that « So far we have not received any information about Nirav Modi or about his arrest from the Hong Kong authorities. We are aware of the written reply submitted to Parliament which shared that Nirav Modi is in Hong Kong. (We) Have requested Hong Kong authorities to surrender Nirav Modi. There is an agreement between India and Hong Kong about surrender of fugitive offenders. We are still awaiting a response,” he added.
Modi’s brand ambassador, actress Priyanka Chopra, has sought to end her contract with the brand. The brand was very popular with Bollywood actresses, but many are now saying that they are owed money for some major contracts. Many celebrities, such as Karlie Kloss, Kate Winslet and Naomi Watts were fans of Modi’s jewelry, but we doubt they will be wearing anything of his anytime soon. Only time will tell what is to become of Nirav Modi and his diamonds