Nirav Modi’s letter to PNB: ‘You have destroyed my brand, my businesses, my ability to pay back’

New Delhi: Nirav Modi, the prime accused in the Punjab National Bank fraud has said, in a letter to the bank, that their ‘overzealousness’ has  jeopardized his chances of paying the loans back.

Modi also claims that the amount is much lesser than what the bank has claimed. He said that he owes the bank under Rs.5000 crores.

He also accused the bank that by going public, they have destroyed his brand and his businesses.

“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,” Modi, who left the country along with his family in the first week of January, wrote.

“In the anxiety to recover your dues immediately, despite my offer (on February 13, a day before the public announcement, and on February 15,) your actions have destroyed my brand and the business and have now restricted your ability to recover all the dues leaving a trail of unpaid debts,” he wrote.

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The letter also referred to the extended discussions between him, his representatives and bank officials, as well as his emails on February 13 and 15. PNB, the country’s second largest public sector bank, on February 14 informed the stock exchanges that it had detected a Rs 11,400 crore fraud at Mumbai’s Brady House branch and named the firms led by Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi’s Gitanjali Group.

The bank after enduring the largest loan fraud in the history of India had said that they have the capacity to recover. 

On the size of the fraud claimed by PNB in the FIR, Modi said, “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.”

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Valuing his domestic business at around Rs 6,500 crore, he wrote, “This could have helped reduce/discharge the debt to the banking system,” but quickly added that this was no longer possible as all his bank accounts had been frozen and assets sealed or seized.”

He further added,  “The buyers credit facility has been extended by it to the three partnership firms since several years; that there has been no default on the part of any of these firms over all these years; that money has gone through PNB over all these years for the repayments of the advances given by the overseas bank branches under the buyers credit…That Firestar International and Firestar Diamond International have never been in default to any bank, and the bankers are fully secured.”

He stated that PNB has over the years been earning bank charges to the tune of crores of rupees on the buyers credit facility extended by it to the three partnership firms and that PNB had extended the money to the firm’s buyers as well from where also it had been receiving full payments, with interest and on time, all these years.

Read the full letter here. 

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