In what could be India’s biggest scam in banking sector, Punjab National Bank, the country's second-largest public-sector lender on Wednesday informed the Bombay Stock Exchange about the fraudulent transactions worth over Rs 11,000 crore.
The PNB bank said it detected "fraudulent and unauthorised transactions" worth USD 1.7 billion (approx) in one of its Mumbai branches.
The bank has filed two complaints to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Nirav Modi and a jewellery company in the case.
Who is Nirav Modi?
Nirav Modi, who is at the heart of India’s biggest banking sector scam is a billionaire diamantaire and famous jewellery designer. From Bollywood to Hollywood, Nirav has designed dresses for the top celebrities of entertainment industry.
Often named as India’s diamond king, Nirav Modi ranked #57 in the Forbes list of India’s billionaires in 2017 with current net worth of USD 1.73 billion.
He is the chairman of Firestar International and runs a chain of Nirav Modi diamond jewellery retail stores across the globe including Mumbai, New York and London.
His designs are worn by Bollywood and Hollywood celebrities including Priyanak Chopra, Kate Winslett, Dakota Johnson. 'Hidden Figures' star Taraji P Henson wore his brand to the Oscars.
He was born and brought up in Antwerp, Belgium in the family of diamantaires and wanted to pursue a career in the Music industry but eventually ended up being a jewellery designer after a friend asked him to design earrings for her.
Modi, who has been enviably taciturn, is now at the centre of a massive USD 1.7 billion PNB scam case and wanted by the CBI.
However, Mumbai CBI sources said Nirav Modi, the man behind India’s biggest banking sector fraud has fled India and it would not be easy to bring him under the hammer of law.