How did Choksi's firms cheat these businessmen?
According to the report, under the three-year contract signed between Choksi's firms and the franchisees, a fixed minimum guarantee commission at 12 per cent per annum on the security deposit, apart from the rental for the jewellery showroom, was mandated to be paid by Choksi.
However, the franchisees soon found violations: That Gitanjali would not replenish the stock, send items that were priced much lower than the market rates, or not pay the agreed upon rental.
Who all got caught up in the fraud?
Vaibhav Khurania, a Delhi-based businessman who had opened a retail store in Rajouri Garden, had to shut shop after Gitanjali allegedly failed to send him stocks worth Rs 30 million (Rs 3 crore) after having taken the payment, the national daily reported. The report quoted one particular FIR as saying: "In fact, they sent those items of which the market price was much less, but the showroom price was 3-4 times more of the actual price."
Larger sums were also involved in these alleged frauds. Accessing FIRs filed in Karnataka in 2015, the national daily reported that one Hari Prasad failed to get Rs 50 million (Rs 5 crore) rental for his showroom to sell Gitanjali jewellery.
Income tax department sources told the daily that tax sleuths were evaluating the liabilities, investments, and profit before and after tax by Choksi's firms.
Modi, Choksi continue to abscond
The 46-year old, who holds an Indian passport, reportedly left India on January 1, while his brother Nishal, a Belgian citizen, departed from the country on the same day, the reports added.
Modi's wife Ami, a US citizen, reportedly left on January 6 and his uncle and business partner Mehul Choksi, the promoter of Gitanjali jewellery chain, left on January 4, officials told news agencies.
According to agency reports, officials said the fresh FIR was based on a complaint from PNB dated February 13. According to the complaint, the alleged loss to PNB was over Rs 48.86 billion, they said.