The disclosure of one of the biggest scams in Indian state-owned banks has rocked the country's financial sector and highlighted Nirav Modi's jewelery billionaire, whose subscriptions include Hollywood stars.
The nearly $ 1.8 billion fraud reported in the largest government bank the second in India is a blow to government efforts to revive the sovereign debt-ridden banking sector.
Nirav Modi, whose jewelry boutiques are in Hong Kong, London to New York and whose diamonds have been worn by Hollywood stars including Dakota Johnson and Kate Winslet is being investigated for making a fraudulent transaction. Its brand ambassador is Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra, who is also well known in the United States.
The scam, which officials say has taken place from a branch of the Punjab National Bank in Mumbai, was undetectable since 2011. Called it "cancer," the bank's chief executive Sunil Mehta said at a press conference earlier this week that the fraud had been eradicated. "We will handle it and we will honor all our commitments." [as/al]