CBI has recorded statements of two important witnesses during its probe into the Rs 13,578 crore scam — Rahul Sisodiya, a junior accountant in Nirav Modi’s company, and peon-cum-office boy Ravindra Dinkar Hindelkar. TOI accessed their statements. Both the statements, submitted in the court along with the chargesheet, reveal interesting details about the ‘conspiracy’ to remove evidence.
“On February 14, 2018, Miten Pandya (employee of Nirav Modi who was arrested and chargesheeted by CBI), instructed me, Ravindra (the peon) and other 2-3 office boys of Firestar Group, to shift the documents, which included the office copies of applications of LoUs and other items viz. stationery, rubber stamps etc. lying in the office of Diamonds R US. There were about 50-60 cartons of documents that needed to be shifted,” said Sisodiya, who worked in Nirav Modi’s company since 2016.
CBI had registered the first FIR in the PNB scam on January 31. By that time, Nirav Modi had already fled the country along with his family members. After the documents reached CAM office, “Pandya instructed all of us to sort the documents year-wise and party-wise and put the same in the office of CAM”, he adds.
Similarly, Ravindra confirmed that he was engaged in the transfer of documents in mid-February from Diamonds R US office to CAM office. These documents were later recovered by CBI from CAM office. CBI has not mentioned anything about Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas or its staff in its two chargesheets filed last week and sources say they are not included in the list of witnesses as well.
However, Vipul Ambani’s name has been clearly mentioned for his role in hiding the documents.
CBI has also recorded statements of six others, some of whom were farmers and some unemployed, from Surat area including Oghadbhai Ukabhai Kalsaria, Laljibhai Kalsaria, Mohanbhai Ladumor, Manojbhai Sankhat, Divyesh Ladumor and Maganbhai Jinjala. These six who were made partners in Nirav Modi’s companies and were paid Rs 10,000 per month remuneration.
They agreed to sign cheques, partnership documents and other papers, whenever asked, as they needed money.
Oghadbhai and Laljibhai Kalsaria were even made partners of 49% and 48.5% respectively in one of the companies while Nirav Modi kept his stake below 1% each in them.
“7,000 pages filed in the court are not worth ink and paper. It is an exercise done in haste and obviously has left loose ends and is incomplete and as claimed further investigation is continuing which I guess will continue till eternity. CBI itself does not want the trial to start. Sanctions are yet to be obtained so I wonder of what use this chargesheet is of,” said Vijay Aggarwal, counsel for five private persons from Nirav Modi’s companies.