DRI registers case against Nirav Modi for diverting diamonds


Mumbai: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has registered a fresh case regarding the alleged diversion of diamonds and pearls against diamond merchant Nirav Modi. The case pertains to fraudulent diversions from Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Surat to the tune of Rs 890 crore.

According to sources, there was a difference in the declared value and the ascertained value of the goods indicating that part of it was diverted to domestic tariff area. DRI officer said,”The case is about the diversion of duty free goods by the SEZ units of Nirav Modi Group of companies — Firestar Diamond International Pvt Ltd, Firestar International Pvt Ltd, situated in Surat and Jaipur respectively. These units are into import and export of diamonds, pearls and jewellery”.

In the units situated at SEZ, goods can be imported duty free for export.

Officials said that the investigation so far has revealed that there was a difference in the declared stock value of the diamonds-pearls in the SEZ units, when compared to the ascertained actual value of the same. The investigators further noticed in the scrutiny of the documents, that the goods worth around Rs 890 crore, involving customs duty of Rs 52 crore, appear to have been diverted by the SEZ units of the Modi Group of companies to the domestic market.

In 2014, DRI had booked a similar case of customs duty evasion against the three SEZ companies (M/s Firestar Diamond International Pvt. Ltd., M/s Firestar International Pvt. Ltd. and M/s Radashir Jewellery Company Pvt Ltd.) belonging to the Modi Group situated in Surat.  They had paid Rs 48.21 crore (customs duty along with interest and penalty) in that case. In the 2014 case, prosecution has already been launched against Modi and his three companies as per provisions of the Customs Act.

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