PNB Scam: 24 Firms, 18 Businessmen, 7 BTech Grads Also Cheated By Mehul Choksi Of Gitanjali Gems
February 19th, 2018
Earlier reports said that not only Punjab National Bank (PNB) suffered from a loss of Rs 11,360 crore due to fraudulent transactions of billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, but 17 other banks were also exposed to Rs 3,000 crore laundering.
However, things have gotten even more out of hands.
It wasn’t only public sector banks (PSBs) that took the hit from the fraud LoUs issued by PNB employees. As many as 24 firms and 18 businessmen who had taken franchisee of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi (Gitanjali Gems) filed criminal complaints of financial bankruptcy due to breach and fraud committed by the Modi and his uncle, reported The Times of India.
These businessmen opened by franchise showrooms of Gitanjali and one other Choksi-owned company – Gili – in Agra, Delhi, Meerut, Bengaluru, Mysuru, Karnal and parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan.
The Times of India has accessed records and FIRs that show fraud and violation of agreement by Choksi’s firms to send diamonds and precious gems despite taking security deposits between Rs 3 crore and Rs 20 crore from franchisees.
A three-year contract signed between Choksi’s firms and franchisees mandated a fixed minimum guarantee (MGC) by him at 12% per annum on security deposit, apart from rental for the jewellery showroom. The franchisees, however, detected violations that Gitanjali would either not replenish the stock, send items which carried prices much lesser than the market rates, or not pay the rent.
A Delhi-based businessman, Vaibhav Khurania, was among the first to detect Choksi firm’s “fraud” in 2013 when Gitanjali allegedly did not send him stocks for Rs 3 crore, despite him making the payment.
As per records, the FIRs in many cases were registered only after court’s interference. The records also reveal that Choksi would seek to quash of FIR in most cases.
Seven B.Tech graduates also duped by Choksi
A group of seven young engineering graduates from Rajasthan Institute of Engineering and Technology (RIET) in Jaipur had dragged Mehul Choksi in court battle in last two years.
These youths had collected Rs 3 crore through crowdfunding, mortgage and aid from parents to open Gitanjali Jewellers Retail’s franchise in Delhi. But soon realised that they had been cheated. ‘Third-grade’ damaged and old diamonds and gems were sent to them against a security deposit of Rs 1.5 crore. The youth moved the Saket court which ordered Choksi’s arrest if allegations were found to be true. The jeweller moved the Delhi High Court in August 2017 seeking to quash of the FIR.