Nirav Modi, a once-prominent billionaire diamond merchant, is currently facing his worst financial phase yet. Modi's downfall began in 2019 after he was arrested by London police for his alleged involvement in major financial irregularities linked to the Punjab National Bank (PNB), which involved thousands of crores.
As per recent reports, Nirav Modi's company Firestar Diamond International Pvt Ltd (FDIPL) has a meagre bank balance of Rs 236. One of the bank accounts of Modi's firm has only Rs 236 remaining, as Kotak Mahindra Bank transferred Rs 2.46 crore to SBI towards income tax dues, while two other banks, Union Bank of India and Bank of Maharashtra, only transferred a portion of the total amount due, according to a Times of India report.
The liquidator appointed for the company has requested the release of the money.
In 2021, the court directed that the amount be released to the claimant, Punjab National bank, through the liquidator appointed for FDIPL under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.
The special court ordered UBI and BoM to comply with its previous directive within three months and transfer the funds to the liquidator's account. However, the court found that both banks did not comply with the orders. The liquidators informed the court that they had asked Union Bank of India to transfer the amount lying in the company's account, but the bank did not respond to the emails. The bank only transferred Rs 17 crore and not the balance.
In a separate report last week, Nirav Modi claimed that he had no funds and was resorting to borrowing money to pay the court-ordered legal costs, amounting to more than GBP 1,50,000 (Rs 1.5 crore). When questioned about how he planned to fund himself, Modi informed the court that he had been borrowing funds as his assets had been seized in India as part of the extradition proceedings, leaving him with inadequate resources.
Modi is facing three separate criminal cases in India. The first case is related to the fraud in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) that resulted in losses of over 700 million pounds. The second case pertains to the alleged money laundering of the proceeds from the PNB fraud. The third case involves allegations of tampering with evidence and witnesses related to the CBI proceedings.