An arrest warrant has been issued against absconding diamantaire Nirav Modi in connection with the case of evasion of Customs duty, registered by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).
The warrant was issued under Section 70 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, 1973, by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Chief Court of Surat, on Friday.
A prosecution in the case was launched by the DRI before the Surat Court in March this year.
In December 2014, the DRI, on a specific intelligence, had intercepted the consignments at Air Cargo Complex, Sahar, Mumbai, destined to Hong Kong and Dubai, which were found to be grossly mis-declared in their quality, quantity, and value, mainly that of Cut & Polished Diamonds (CPD).
Freight on Board (FOB) value of the diamond for the said six consignments was declared as Rs. 43.10 crores, whereas the official value ascertained was found to be only Rs. 4.93 crores.
During further investigation, the DRI officers found that three companies of Nirav Modi Group – M/s Firestar International Pvt. Ltd. (FIPL), M/s Firestar Diamond International Pvt. Ltd. (FDIPL) and M/s Radashir Jewellery Co. Pvt. Ltd. (RJCPL) were indulged in the diversion of duty free imported goods, CPDs, and pearls, all three units were located in Surat.
The total diversion of duty-free goods (CPD and pearls) was found to be Rs. 1205 crore, while the total customs duty along with interest and penalty recovered on such diversion was Rs. 48.21 crore.
After completion of the investigation and other proceedings (recovery of customs duty along with interest and penalty), Prosecution under Section 132, 135, read with Section 140(1) of the Customs Act, 1962 and under Section 120(B) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 was launched against Nirav Modi and his three companies.
Another case was registered in February against the aforementioned party for the diversion of duty-free imported goods and overvaluation of import/export. From the documents available, the goods worth Rs. 890 cr., involving customs duty of Rs. 52 crore had been diverted by the SEZ units controlled by Nirav.
A prosecution was launched against the fugitive businessman for his active role in evasion of customs duty and violation of provisions made thereof. Although summons was issued by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Chief Court, Surat, in the prosecution case, no one appeared before the court on the due dates. An arrest warrant was therefore issued in this regard.
The case is under investigation and vital details, documents, and evidence have been collected.