Diamantaire Nirav Modi was running an intricate web of companies where his brother, wife, sister and cousin, all had well-defined roles to play. NewsX has learnt that Enforcement Directorate (ED) is now probing his link with at least 12 suspicious companies. Interrogation of those arrested in the case has also revealed that money from PNB Nostro account was transferred to ten companies based in UAE and Hong Kong. NewsX has accessed the statement of Suresh Kumar Bhutani, the company secretary in Nirav Modi’s flagship company — Firestar Diamonds company.
Suresh Bhutani has revealed to ED that Nirav Modi was running a web of companies spread across continents. ED sleuths have also gathered information about 12 companies which could be linked to Nirav Modi and also suspected to be involved in money laundering operations. However, Bhutani surprisingly had no information about those 12 companies. What Suresh Bhutani told in his statement to ED is that two companies — Jade Bridge Holdings Ltd, based in Cyprus and Forcom Worldwide Investments Ltd, Mauritius — were holding more than 5% equity in Fire Star Diamonds. It is suspected that it was a deliberate move to avoid taxation of diamonds. Bhutani has also revealed that Nirav’s brother, Neeshal, was CEO of diamond operations in Belgium.
Nirav Modi’s sister Purvi Deepak Modi was a shareholder in Firestar Diamonds through one of the companies called Novelar. His cousin Mihir Bhansali was CEO of the diamond manufacturing operations. His wife Ami was looking after the CSR activities of Nirav Modi Foundation which is a philanthropic organization run by Modis. Independent directors in Firestar Diamonds used to get Rs 45 lakhs per annum and Rs 1 lakh were paid to them for attending each board meeting.
In another startling revelation investigations and interrogation of Punjab National Bank Deputy General Manager, who was the main complainant on behalf of PNB has revealed that all of Nirav Modi’s companies had accounts in 22 Indian banks. So far his company transactions with only a few banks were known but it now transpires that he was having current accounts in overseas branches of several Indian banks.
ED probe has also revealed at least 13 internal auditors of PNB over the years failed to detect the unauthorized transactions being allowed by some of its officials causing a loss of thousands of crores of rupees to the bank. Employees of Nirav Modi’s Firestar Diamonds and other companies are left in a lurch. People like Suresh Kumar Bhutani are now looking for jobs vacancies to make ends meet.
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