Money & Banking

Now, curious onlookers outside Nirav Modi stores too have gone

Surabhi New Delhi | Updated on February 19, 2018 Published on February 19, 2018

The store-fronts, once glittering with diamond jewellery, are now dark and locked up.- PTI   -  PTI

After the initial media glare and search operations, the crowds around the stores have all but disappeared

Nearly a week after Punjab National Bank informed the stock exchanges about “unauthorised transactions” of $1.77 billion, the once flamboyant stores of absconding diamond jeweller Nirav Modi now sport a deserted and almost abandoned look.

The billionaire jewellery designer opened his first boutique store in New Delhi’s Defence Colony in 2014 and one of his last stores in the country also sprung up in the Capital’s upmarket DLF-Emporio’s Chanakya mall.

But, the boutique stores are now a far cry from their earlier flamboyant self.

Though the larger-than-life celebrity hoardings showing designs of Modi’s jewellery collection still greet passersby, the fancy chauffeur-driven cars parked outside are no longer there.

The store-fronts, once glittering with diamond jewellery are now dark and locked up

After the initial media glare and search operations carried out by the Enforcement Directorate, the crowds around the stores have now all but disappeared. A few shoppers look at the stores but soon walk on to their next destination.

A closer look at the Defence Colony store shows income tax department notices affixed to the door stating that the shop along with others has been “provisionally attached”. The mannequins too are bare after the ED search operations.

Security staff at the Chanakya mall, where the second of Modi’s boutique store is located, seem more relaxed than last week and it seems to be business as usual for them.

Movie-goers, shoppers and diners throng the malls but few seem interested anymore in Modi’s store.

Following the announcement by state-run lender Punjab National Bank, the ED has conducted raids at over 35 locations of Modi, who is currently believed to be in the US. It has seized diamonds, gold, precious stones, metals and jewellery worth over ₹5,649 crore. Independent evaluation has been started.

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Published on February 19, 2018
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