A cyclist rides past a branch of Punjab National Bank in Mumbai, India (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)  

Nirav Modi Left India With Family In First Week Of January

Billionaire jewellery designer Nirav Modi left the country on Jan. 1 much before the CBI received a complaint from Punjab National Bank on Jan. 29 about a Rs 280-crore fraud, officials said.

His brother Nishal, a Belgian citizen, also left the country on Jan. 1, while wife Ami, a U.S. citizen, and business partner Mehul Choksi, the Indian promoter of Gitanjali jewellery chain, departed on Jan. 6, the officials said.

The agency issued a lookout circular against all the four after registering the first FIR against them, they said.

Also Read: Who Is Nirav Modi?

A lookout circular has been issued by enforcement agencies to all exit and entry ports to inform them about the movement of an accused.

Modi, who is believed to be in Switzerland, was also present in a group photo of Indian CEOs with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, issued by the Press Information Bureau, in World Economic Forum on Jan. 23, six days before the bank sent its first complaint against him to the CBI, according to the officials.

The diamantaire is an Indian citizen but his brother Nishal and wife Ami are not Indian nationals, the officials said.

Nirav Modi, a regular feature on the lists of rich and famous Indians since 2013, was booked by the CBI, along with wife, brother and business partner Choksi on Jan. 31, for allegedly cheating the state-run Punjab National Bank to the tune of Rs 280 crore.

The bank has sent two more complaints to the CBI on Tuesday, saying the scam was worth more than Rs 11,400 crore.