How the rich and the famous parked black money in Nirav Modi firms
Most names include prominent figures in business, politics, media, besides Nirav’s relatives. On top of the list is a buyer from Davangere (Karnataka), who bought jewelleries worth Rs 12.85 crore in cash, followed by a Goa-based prominent industrialist who made purchases worth Rs 12.10 crore
At least 546 wealthy people used their unaccounted money to buy jewelleries from Nirav Modi’s stores and about 80 per cent of them did not mention their PAN details, according to an Income-Tax department list seen by DNA. Most names include prominent figures in business, politics, media, besides Nirav’s relatives. On top of the list is a buyer from Davangere (Karnataka), who bought jewelleries worth Rs 12.85 crore in cash, followed by a Goa-based prominent industrialist who made purchases worth Rs 12.10 crore. Fujitive businessman Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are two big-name jewelers accused of defrauding India’s second-largest state bank, PNB, of nearly $2 billion by securing credit from overseas lenders through bogus guarantees.
The list runs into 17 pages and reveals 649 transactions of Nirav’s big buyers under categories of accounted and unaccounted. These transactions took place in last seven financial years (2010-17). At least 427 have not mentioned PAN. The Income-Tax department made the list based on documents seized during searches at Nirav’s premises.
Investigations by multiple agencies into what has been dubbed India’s biggest bank fraud that started unravelling last month have led to the arrest of 21 people, including bankers. The whereabouts of both Choksi and Modi are unknown. The list reveals how the number of high-end buyers has risen since 2010. Just before the financial year of demonetisation in 2015-16, the number of such jumped almost 300% from 86 to 340. “PAN rule was changed in 2016. PAN was made mandatory for purchase of gold jewellery worth Rs 2 lakh or more by cash or card,” said an official.
By Dipu Rai
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