Indian federal agents investigated Nirav Modi over bank fraud

Vastavam web: Indian federal agents said on Monday they had launched an investigation into billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, one of the country’s richest men, over accusations that he and others defrauded a state bank of $44 million.The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said it was acting on a complaint from the Punjab National Bank that Nirav Modi and others had conspired with bank officials to fraudulently obtain advances for making payments to overseas suppliers.According to Forbes, Modi has a net worth of $1.84 billion through his jewellery design and retail businesses, making him the 85th richest person in India.

The bank had filed a complaint saying public money “seems to have been embezzled by committing fraud”, the CBI said.Modi’s flagship diamond retail firm, Firestar International Limited, released a statement saying the case “has no affiliation, legal or otherwise” with the company. The CBI did not name Firestar in the complaint.The case comes at a time of heightened concern about Indian banks’ near-record soured loans stock, which has choked new lending.In another high profile case, the CBI last year accused Vijay Mallya, the head of the Force India Formula One team, of fraudulently obtaining and misusing loans obtained from Indian banks.