New Delhi: Fugitive diamond jeweller Mehul Chinubbhai Choksi in his latest video held Punjab National Bank (PNB) responsible for misinforming the investigation agencies and said it was unprecedented how his company closed down within a week without a thorough investigation. Speaking from Antigua and giving his version of the case, Choksi said, “…my bank account was frozen and my server was seized, the company came to a complete standstill then. I solely hold PNB responsible for misinforming the agencies.” Also Read - Nirav Modi's Extradition Approved by UK Home Minister Ahead of Boris Johnson's India Visit
“On around January 29, the PNB complained that they detected fraud in their branch for three companies which were Nirav Modi‘s companies and one of the alleged people was me. They (agencies) started raiding our company because of the misinformation by the Punjab National Bank. The agency started raiding my company on February 2 and they went on till February 14-15 and virtually seized all the inventories in the factories and showrooms,” he said in the video. Also Read - SBI, PNB Customers Alert: Have Zero-Balance Or Basic Savings Accounts? Banks Are Slapping Charges For These Services
Alleging that he became a soft target, Choksi said, “My company is 50 years old. Over 6,000 people are employed in my companies, directly or indirectly and it has never happened in India that a firm has been shut down in a day based on a wrong complaint. This is some kind of terror I have gone through due to all this after recovering from my health issues,” adding that no company should be dealt the way his company was.
Choksi continued that there were three agencies — the CBI, the ED and the Income Tax — that were raiding him at that time. “I was not in India as I was having my medical procedure at that particular time. The agencies seized nearly Rs 6,000 crore of my merchandise and properties,” he said. The fugitive diamond jeweller further said that when he asked PNB why his name was involved, the bank said that his name was in old KYC of 95 or 93 and so “they carried on”.
“I had retired from this company in 2000. They misinformed the agencies and I asked the PNB to look into the matter, but they recalled all my facilities (three companies),” he said. He recalled that in response to his company’s letter to the PNB, the bank had said that they would sit and resolve the matter. “I was surprised that raids never stopped and they seized nearly Rs 5,000 crores worth of my merchandise…Just after three or four days, I got a new FIR on my three companies. I solely make PNB responsible for misinforming the agency, but more than this, it is unprecedented how my company came to a standstill without deep investigation,” he said.
In another video, Choksi said that he is undergoing a media trial in connection with the case. “Until last December, there was no bad name and mine was one of the leading companies in India. If I was such a bad man as they are portraying then why were all the media running after me for business? Also, when they call me fugitive, scamster or fraudster – it hurts me very badly. They should at least mention the word ‘alleged’,” he said.
With ANI inputs