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CBI files fresh FIR against Mehul Choksi for allegedly defrauding IFCI

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case on complaint from IFCI Limited against fugitive diamondtairre Mehul Choksi and others for allegedly causing an alleged loss of Rs. 22.06 crore to IFCI Ltd. This is a fresh case registered against Choksi by the central agency.

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A senior CBI officer said that after the preliminary inquiry into the complaint received against Mehul Choksi and his company Gitanjali Gems from the Assistant General Manager (AGM) of IFCI, an FIR under IPC section 420 (cheating), 468 ( Forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (Whoever fraudulently or dishonestly uses as genuine) has been registered in Mumbai.

Those booked by the CBI in FIR are M/s. Gitanjali Gems Ltd., Mumbai, Mehul Choksi, Director of M/s Gitanjali Gems. Ltd, Surajmal Lallu Bhai & Co, Valuer, Mumbai, Narendra Jhaveri, Valuer, Pradip C. Shah, Valuer; Shrenik R. Shah, Valuer and unknown public servants.

According to the CBI, it was alleged that during the period of 2014 to 2018, IFCI Ltd. relying on the representation, assurances and undertaking of said private company as well as its Director and the value of the pledged jewels on the basis of valuation conducted by Valuers, had disbursed the entire loan amount of Rs 25 crore on the basis of security cover of two times, pledge of shares, pledge of gold, diamond and gold CS studded jewellery.

“It was further alleged that the accused had started committing defaults in the repayment of loan installments and in order to recover the defaulted amount of the installments, IFCI Ltd. invoked the pledge and the fresh valuation obtained by IFCI dropped the valuation of the pledged jewels by 90%. It was also alleged that the said Director colluded with the Valuers and got the valuation of the pledged jewels done with exorbitant and inflated value. The diamonds were allegedly of low quality and not real gemstones,” said a CBI official.

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Searches were conducted at around eight premises of the accused Valuers in Mumbai and Kolkata which led to the recovery of incriminating documents.

The fugitive businessman is residing in Antigua and Barbuda, where he fled immediately after the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam worth ₹13,578 crore came to light in 2018. He is accused of cheating PNB of ₹6,097 crore. Another investigation pertaining to ₹942 crore fraud by his firm Asmi Jewellery is also underway.

In May, Choski was found in Dominica, a small island in the Caribbean where attempts were made by the Indian government to get him deported instead of going through the tedious process of extradition from Antigua, where he is a citizen.

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