Nirav and PM Modi never met in Davos; but we have Mehul Choksi's pictures with Congress leaders: Government

Nirav and PM Modi never met in Davos; but we have Mehul Choksi's pictures with Congress leaders: Government

Nirav Modi was present in a group photo of Indian CEOs with Narendra Modi in World Economic Forum on January 23, six days before the Punjab National Bank sent its first complaint against him to the CBI.

By: || Updated: 15 Feb 2018 06:40 PM

Nirav Modi was present in a group photo of Indian CEOs with Narendra Modi in World Economic Forum on January 23.

NEW DELHI: The Opposition on Thursday targetted the Centre on a group photograph where Nirav Modi, accused of pulling off possibly India's biggest bank fraud, was seen with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Davos at the World Economic Forum.

Nirav Modi was present in a group photo of Indian CEOs with Narendra Modi in World Economic Forum on January 23, six days before the Punjab National Bank sent its first complaint against him to the CBI.

Issuing a clarification, the government said Nirav Modi was not part of the delegation which accompanied PM Narendra Modi in Davos.

"There was no meeting which took place between Neerav Modi and PM. He was a part of a Group photograph. The photograph was shot after he got out of a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of WEF," government sources said.

They said the Invest India, an agency dedicated to investment promotion and facilitation, had arranged this photo Op at the WEF Davos and Nirav Modi attended the EEF Davos meeting on his own as many businessmen do.



Addressing a press conference, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Nirav was a part of a CII delegation and PM Modi did not meet him.

"Nirav Modi was not part of PM Modi's delegation at World Economic Forum in Davos. He was part of CII delegation. There was no meeting between Nirav Modi and PM Modi in Davos," Prasad said.



Prasad alleged that the BJP also has many pictures of Congress leaders with Mehul Choksi, Nirav's maternal uncle and business partner, but, he said, he doesn't want to stoop to that level.

He also hit out at the Congress for calling Nirav as 'Chhota Modi'.

"Why is the Congress using the term "Chota Modi", there must be crores of people in this country having surname as "Modi". Using such a language is derogatory and scandalous," Prasad said.







Posing another series of questions to the Prime Minister and his government, the Congress accused the PMO of taking no action even after a complaint was filed to the Prime Minister's Office as early as July 26, 2016 about a scam involving Nirav Modi.

Congress media in-charge Randeep Surjewala said Modi was made aware of this entire fraud by a whistleblower, Hari Prasad, by way of a written complaint filed July 26, 2016 and acknowledged by the PMO.



Punjab National Bank had rocked the financial world on Wednesday with the revelation that it had detected "fraudulent and unauthorised transactions" worth 11,500 crore at one of its branches in Mumbai.

The fraudulent transactions are reportedly linked to billionaire diamond merchant Nirav Modi, against whom the bank had filed a complaint with the CBI last month.

Nirav Modi was initially charged last month with causing a wrongful loss of Rs 280.70 crore to PNB in 2017 after hatching a conspiracy with two bank officials to defraud the bank.

The other partners who were allegedly involved in fraudulent transactions were Nirav's wife Ami, brother Neeshal and maternal uncle Mehul Choksi, who owns Gitanjali Gems.

On Wednesday, PNB filed two more complaints against Modi after it realised that the fraud could involve at least Rs 11,500 crore of its money.

The estimated scale of the fraud of Rs 11,500 crore is more than eight times PNB's net profit of Rs 1,325 crore in the financial year ended March 2017. The crisis could impact the bank's profitability this year.

Nirav had left India on January 1, and is believed to be in Switzerland. Nirav's wife Ami, a US citizen, and business partner Mehul Choksi departed on January 6.

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