Nirav-Choksi also looted Rs 5,000 cr of common people, alleges Congress


New Delhi, Feb 23  The Congress on Friday alleged that jeweller Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi have not only siphoned Indias banks of Rs 21,306 crore, but have also duped Indias middle class and common people of Rs 5,000 crore in jewellery investment schemes. The party also asked why Prime Minister Narendra Modi was fighting shy of admitting his connection with the duo.  "A complicit Modi government has even refused to publicly acknowledge this loot of Rs 5,000 crore and duping of common man's money - a ‘Jan Dhan Loot'," Congress spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil told reporters. The party alleged that Gitanjali Gems Ltd had floated three jewellery investment schemes - Shagun, Swarna Mangal Labh (SML) and Swarna Mangal Kalash (SMK), under which an ordinary person, seeking to buy jewellery, was required to pay 11 installments of a specified amount. "In return, Gitanjali group offered to pay the 12th installment as free. Tenure of these installments could be 12 months, 24 months or 36 months. At the end of the tenure, the amount so accumulated could be redeemed for jewellery with additional bonus of up to 50 per cent," he added. "Like in the case of banks, common man was also duped by way of these schemes. In most number of cases, neither was the installment paid nor the jewellery given or amount returned.  "Consequently, a large number of police complaints were filed in Gujarat by way of affidavits in September, 2015," he added. The party alleged that on October 10, 2017, a large number of persons filed complaints against the patent fraud being played upon common men by Gitanjali Group.  "Instead of registering an FIR and arresting Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi and others, Bhavnagar police kept the matter pending and finally referred it by recording that it should be investigated by CID Crime, Gandhinagar," said Gohil. He said that the Gujarat Police waited up to January 25 by when Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi had run away from the country along with their families and in the state, there are thousands of such cases, thus indicating "complicity and protection at the highest level". The party also said despite huge number of complaints of fraud and duping of common men pending, the BJP government projected Gitanjali Group as the Collaborator for Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2017. "Was Mehul Choksi not invited in the small gathering when Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Gold Monetization Scheme in the year 2015? Was Nirav Modi not part of the gathering of Indian CEOs photographed with Prime Minister in Davos," asked Gohil. (IANS)