Mumbai: CBI files fresh case against fugitive Mehul Choksi for defrauding IFCI of Rs 22 cr
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Monday registered a case on complaint from Industrial Finance Corporation of India (IFCI) Limited against fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi and others for allegedly causing a loss of Rs. 22.06 crore to IFCI Ltd. This is a fresh case registered against Choksi by the central agency.
Searches were conducted at around eight premises of the accused Valuers in Mumbai and Kolkata which led to the recovery of incriminating documents, officials informed Monday.
Those booked by the CBI in FIR are M/s. Gitanjali Gems Ltd (GGL), 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, a written complaint was received on November 24, 2020, from Yamini Das, Assistant General Manager (Law), IFCI Mumbai, alleging therein that GGL, Mehul Choksi and other accused persons, during the period 2014 to 2018 were party to a criminal conspiracy to cheat IFCI.
In pursuance of the said criminal conspiracy, GGL, though its Director Mehul Choksi approached IFCI Ltd seeking financial assistance for meeting its long-term working capital requirement and induced IFCI Ltd to sanction a corporate loan of Rs 25 crore in March 2016. This loan was sanctioned and disbursed in favour of GGL.
"It has been alleged in the complaint that IFCI Ltd, relying on the representation, assurances and undertakings of GGL as well as Mehul Choksi and the value of the pledged jewels on the basis of valuation conducted by M/s Surajmal Lallu Bhai & Co, Narendra Jhaveri, Pradip C, Shah and Shrenik R Shah, had disbursed the entire loan amount of Rs 25 crores on the basis of security cover of two times based on the pledge of shares and the pledge of the gold, diamond and gold studded jewellery," the CBI stated in it's FIR.
The FIR further stated, "It is alleged in the complaint that GGL had started committing defaults in the repayment of loan instalments and in order to recover the defaulted amount of the instalments, IFCI Ltd. invoked the pledge and out of total pledged 20,60,054 number of shares, IFCI could only sell 6,48,822 number of shares amounting to Rs 4,07,07,881, as the client ID of Mehul Choksi was suspended by NSDL. Further, the IFCI Ltd. in order to realize the security had appointed two valuers viz. M/s. Markandeyaa (Mineral Consultants & Traders) and M/s. Aarch Consultants & Valuers and the fresh valuation obtained by IFCI dropped the valuation of the pledged jewels by 90%."
"Thus, it is prima-facie revealed that Mehul Choksi with dishonest and fraudulent intention collided with the valuers and got the valuation of the pledged jewels done with exorbitant and inflated value. Further, it also came to the light that the diamonds are of low-quality lab prepared chemical vapour diamonds and other inferior colour stones and not real gemstones. The account of GGL was classified as NPA with effect from 30.06.2018, thereby causing wrongful loss of Rs 22.06 crore to IFCI Ltd and corresponding wrongful gain to the accused," the FIR stated.