Nirav Modi says PNB 'scam' has been blown out of proportion
New Delhi, Jan 5: Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi on Saturday claimed that the Punjab National Bank 'scam' has been blown out of proportion and he has done nothing wrong.
Nirav Modi was responding to the Enforcement Directorate's application in the PMLA court to declare him a fugitive offender under new Fugitive Economic Offenders Act. He is wanted for defrauding Punjab National Bank (PNB) to the tune of Rs 13,000 crore.
"I've done nothing wrong. The PNB scam was a civil transaction, blown out of proportion. I cannot come back to country due to security reasons," he said.
The 47-year-old, who is currently in the UK, is reportedly planning to apply for an asylum in the country, according to media reports.
Last year, the ED had attached 11 properties worth over Rs 56 crore of fugitive diamond jeweller Nirav Modi in Dubai in connection with its money-laundering probe in the USD 2-billion PNB fraud case. The central probe agency said the assets were in the name of "Modi and his group company M/s Firestar Diamond FZE and they bear a market value of USD 7.79 million, which is equivalent to Rs 56.8 crore".
Modi has been absconding since the alleged bank fraud, by far the biggest in the country, came to light early this year and an Interpol arrest warrant was recently notified against him even as India is working to get him extradited from the UK, where he was last reported to have been based.
(With PTI inputs)