Nirav Modi’s CA Firm in UK Linked to Panama Papers: Report

Dattani Chartered Accountants audited the most recent documents of Nirav Modi Limited

Updated25 Jun 2018, 03:10 AM IST
3 min read

An accountancy firm in Harrow, London, which allegedly has links to companies named in the Panama Papers leak, audited the finances of fugitive Indian businessman Nirav Modi.

As per documents accessed by The Times of India, Dattani Chartered Accountants audited the most recent documents of Nirav Modi Limited – a subsidiary of the Hong Kong-based firm of the same name, owned by the PNB scam accused.

“We have nothing to do with Nirav Modi. We were the auditors of a company called Nirav Modi Limited, which is completely independent of him,” Nitin Dattani, the owner of the firm told TOI.

After Nirav Modi, PNB Sets Up 6,900 Loan Recovery Cells

After taking a heavy toll of nearly Rs 13,000-crore fraud case involving Nirav Modi, state-run Punjab National Bank is diverting manpower to recover bad loans.

As per a report in The Indian Express, PNB set up a recovery cell in each of its 6,900 branches and deployed nearly 25,000 employees to recover bad loans. On 1 June, the bank also created a Stress Asset vertical tasked with fast-tracking the recovery of Non-Performing Assets, the report added.

Punjab National Bank posted a Rs 13,420-crore loss in the quarter ended 31 March.

Nirav Modi Stayed in Flat Above Jewellery Store in London: Report

Indian billionaire Nirav Modi was living in a flat just above his jewellery store in the post Mayfair area of London while he was being hunted in India for an alleged money laundering case linked to over USD 2 billion, according to a media report on Sunday, 24 June.

The 47-year-old diamantaire was able to travel in and out of Britain at least four times since his passport was cancelled by the Indian authorities in February.

During his stay in London, he was reportedly living in the heart of the city above his jewellery boutique called "Nirav Modi" on Old Bond Street, which was reportedly closed last week, The Sunday Times reported.

"Why are they always ending up in London? It's as if the UK is a safe haven," the newspaper quoted an Indian official as saying.

That Modi has been using Britain as a “safe haven” threatens to damage diplomatic ties between India and the UK and further scupper prospects of a post-Brexit trade deal, the report warned.

Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are accused of benefiting from a huge fraud against the Punjab National Bank, the country's second largest lender, to the tune of more than USD 2 billion.

Indian court has issued warrants for the arrest of Modi and Choksi.

On 23 February, the Indian authorities revoked Modi’s passport, contacting Interpol and the UK government soon after. But official records reveal Modi travelled from Heathrow Airport to Hong Kong on 15 March, and from New York to Heathrow Airport on 28 March.

Three days later, he flew from London to Paris. On 12 June, Modi is thought to have boarded the Eurostar train from London to Brussels, the newspaper claims, adding that unconfirmed reports claim Modi has applied for asylum in the UK.

The UK Home Office and Border Force declined to discuss individual cases but said in a statement: "All passengers attempting to enter the UK are subject to checks by Border Force officers to identify people of concern." "Border Force works with international partners to ensure the most up-to-date information is available." In the UK, Nirav Modi's jewels have been made famous by British actress Kate Winslet sporting the diamonds at the Oscars in 2016. Also, his advertising campaigns have been fronted by the British model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.

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Published: 24 Jun 2018, 09:48 PM IST

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