CBI makes first arrest in Winsome group Rs 6,712 crore fraud


New Delhi: In the first ever arrest in Rs 6,712 crore Winsome group bank fraud scam perpetrated by fugitive diamond merchant Jatin Mehta, the Central Bureau of Investigation on March 12 arrested Mehta’s close aide – Hasmukh Shah.
Shah, CBI says, is former director and authorized signatory of a company belonging to Winsome Diamonds group – M/s Forever Precious Jewelry.
Shah, CBI added, helped Jatin Mehta in orchestrating the export-import operations of the company. He was also liasioning with the banks in getting credit facilities illegally.
Jatin Mehta, who is presently a citizen of Saint Kitts & Nevis, a Caribbean island having no extradition treaty with India, had fled the country sometime in 2013 and never returned.
CBI has filed around six FIRs against Winsome Group companies and Jatin Mehta, who is considered to be one of the biggest wilful defaulters’ along with Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya.
Mehta, using his seven companies, had taken buyer’s credit to purchase gold and turned it around into diamond-studded jewelry which was exported to 13 clients in Dubai. His brands – Winsome and Forever – were favored by banks in giving high value credits which kept on getting extensions through letters of credit.
Before fleeing, he told the banks in 2012 that he cannot repay as his customers in the UAE were hit by derivatives and commodities trading losses worth several thousand crores.
The CBI and Enforcement Directorate has now turned up heat in Winsome group cases and have started questioning several former employees of the group.
The BJP, while denying Congress’s charge, had claimed recently that Jatin Mehta’s last exit from India was in July 2013 when UPA-2 was in power.
“Congress is speaking blatant lies. Advances to Mehta were granted between September 2010 and March 2013 during the Congress-led UPA government. And his last entry and exit into India was on July 25, 2013, and everyone knows who was in power at that time,” Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri had said at a press conference recently.