Nirav Modi, the man who has been at the centre of the alleged Rs 11,400 crore fraud detected by Punjab National Bank, in a letter to the bank requested them to permit him to pay the salaries to 2,200 employees from the balance lying in the current accounts of his firms. "Whatever may be the consequences I may face for my actions, the haste was, in my humble submission, unwarranted," he said.
In a letter Nirav Modi wrote on February 15/16 to the Punjab National Bank management, the diamond billionaire even requested the bank to "be fair, and support his efforts to make good all the amounts that are found due by his group to all banks."
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In his defence, Modi even said that there has been no default on the part of any of these firms over all these years. He said that money went through the bank all these years for the repayments of the advances given by the overseas bank branches under the buyers credit.
10 THINGS THAT NIRAV MODI SAID IN HIS LETTER TO THE BANK
1. Beleaguered businessman Nirav Modi said Punjab National Bank's "overzealousness" shut the doors on his ability to clear the dues.
2. The diamond jeweller claims that the dues were much less than what the bank has claimed.
3. Nirav said his relatives booked in the cases filed by the central agencies had nothing to do with the operations of the firms under their scanner. "My wife is not connected with any business operations at all and she has been wrongly named. My uncle is also wrongly named in this complaint since he has an independent and unconnected business and none of them are aware or concerned with my dealings with your bank."
4. In his letter, the diamond czar claims that the money his companies owe to the bank is under Rs 5,000 crore. "As you are aware, this is entirely incorrect and the liability of the Nirav Modi Group is substantially less. Even after your complaint was filed, in good faith I wrote to you saying please sell/allow me to sell Firestar Group, or their valuable assets, and recover the dues not just from Firestar Group, but also from the three firms," he said.
5. Nirav Modi, who left the country before the alleged scam became public, said, "The erroneously cited liability resulted in a media frenzy which led to immediate search and seizure of operations, and which in turn resulted in Firestar International and Firestar Diamond International effectively ceasing to be going-concerns. This thereby jeopardised our ability to discharge the dues of the group to the banks."
6. Modi said that the bank's anxiety to recover dues immediately, despite his offer (on February 13, a day before the public announcement, and on 15) have destroyed his brand and the business.
7. He went on to say that this has restricted bank's ability to recover all the dues leaving a trail of unpaid debts.
8. The letter also refers to the extended discussions between him, and between his representatives and the bank officers, besides his emails of February 13 and 15, 2018.
9. In his letter, Nirav claims that he went on to state that PNB had time and again acknowledged that the buyers credit facility has been extended by it to the three partnership firms for several years, and that there has been no default on the part of any of these firms over all these years. He said that money went through PNB all these years for the repayments of the advances given by the overseas bank branches under the buyers credit.
10. Valuing his domestic business at around Rs 6,500 crore, he said, "This could have helped reduce/discharge the debt to the banking system," but added that this is not possible as all his bank accounts have been frozen and assets sealed or seized.