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Jewelry Billionaire Denies Allegations in $1.8B Fraud Case

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Several arrests have been made.

A lawyer for billionaire Nirav Modi, who is being investigated by Indian authorities in connection with a $1.8 billion bank fraud, says the jeweler is innocent.

Referring to the case, attorney Vijay Aggarwal told Reuters: “There is nothing in it.”

The case centers on Punjab National Bank, where employees are “suspected to have steered fraudulent loans” to Modi’s businesses, according to the news service. Modi is founder of the Nirav Modi diamond jewelry house based in Mumbai.

The bank reported the alleged fraud to officials earlier this month.

Authorities have arrested several officials with the bank and Modi’s company, but no charges have been filed.

The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council GJEPC released a statement on the case that read, in part: “The recent incident of a scam by an alleged diamantaire is of concern to the entire Gems & Jewellery industry. The Industry strongly condemns any sort of unlawful & illegal actions by any individual, trade or otherwise. It should be noted that when thousands of exporters undertake business lawfully adhering to all norms and practices, prescribed very diligently, incidents of this kind can only take place due to non-adherence of procedures and norms laid down. The Council strongly believes that this incidence will not have any contagion effect to the Gems & Jewellery Export Industry.”

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In fall 2017, the Nirav Modi company said it planned to open a store each in Honolulu and Las Vegas, building on the U.S. presence it established with a New York retail location in 2015. It also said it anticipated opening additional U.S. stores in coming years.

Read more at Reuters

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