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Choksi inflated diamond prices to get Rs 25 cr loan from IFCI: CBI

New Delhi, May 2 (PTI) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a fresh case against fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi. Officials said on Monday that Choksi had allegedly inflated the value of diamonds and jewelery pledged to get a loan of Rs 25 crore from IFCI.

Choksi is wanted along with his nephew Nirav Modi in a fraud case of Rs 13,500 crore.

The CBI has registered a case against Mehul Choksi, his company Gitanjali Gems and valuers Surajmal Lallu Bhai & Co, Narendra Jhaveri, Pradeep C Shah and Shrenik Shah, officials said.

The central agency took this action on a complaint by Industrial Finance Corporation of India (IFCI) Ltd. IFCI has alleged that Choksi sought a working capital loan of Rs 25 crore in 2016 for which he had pledged shares and gold and diamond jewellery.

Four different assessees said that the pledged jewelery was worth Rs 34-45 crore, based on which IFCI gave loans to Choksi.

After the company allegedly defaulted on payments, IFCI started making up against the pledged shares and jewellery. However, the company could sell only 6,48,822 shares out of a total of 20,60,054 pledged shares. The value of the shares sold was Rs 4,07 crore. NSDL had blocked Mehul Choksi’s ‘Client ID’, due to which the rest of the shares could not be sold.

Thereafter, IFCI attempted to repay the loan with pledged gold, diamonds and gems jewellery, and found that their value was 98 per cent lower than the initial valuation.

The latest valuation revealed that the value of the pledged jewelery ranges from Rs 70 lakh to Rs 2 crore.

IFCI alleged that Choksi “with dishonest and fraudulent intentions colluded with the appraisers and inflated the value of the pledged jewellery”.


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