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Choksi informs employees he can’t pay salaries

Gitanjali Gems owner and co-accused in $1.8b PNB fraud insists he is innocent and that the truth will prevail

  • Mehul Choksi and his firm Gitanjali Gems is accused in the massive PNB banking fraud.Image Credit: File
  • Nirav Modi (right) and Mehul ChoksiImage Credit: File
Gulf News

New Delhi: Mehul Choksi, owner of Gitanjali Gems and one of the accused in the $1.8 billion (Dh6.61 billion) Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud, has written to a letter to his employees claiming his innocence and stating that the company cannot pay the employees their dues at present.

“I am constrained to write the present email to you all concerned, as a situation of fear and injustice has been created against me and our organisation,” Choksi wrote in the letter.

“In the light of recent allegations, Priyanka Chopra has chosen to terminate her contract with the Nirav Modi brand,” a spokesperson for Chopra, who was the global brand ambassador for Nirav Modi, said in a statement on Friday.

“But, now, with false allegations levelled against me of defrauding the PNB Bank and [the ensuing] media frenzy, the situation has gone grave, which is turning graver by day,” he added.

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He further said: “It is very tough for me, as of now, to be clearing your dues or to pay the future salaries, in view of the seizing of various bank accounts and other properties by the government agencies/investigating agencies.”

Choksi said the company has worked with honesty and integrity.

“Though I am aware that a lot of hard work has been put by you all to bring our organisation to where it is today, I am [at present] facing a lot of problems due to the manner in which the multiple investigating agencies/government agencies have started to create a havoc, hell bent upon stopping the operations,” he said.

“However, the fact remains that as of today, the justice that I deserve is far off, as it shall take time to prove my innocence, and the future seems uncertain presently.”

He said: “I will face my destiny and I know that I have done nothing wrong, and ultimately, the truth shall prevail. But I do not want anybody to get even a shadow of adversity or injustice just because of their association with me.”

'Fear psychosis'

Choksi said the “investigating agencies seem to be interested not in a fair investigation but in creating a fear psychosis within my employees. The kind of unfair treatment, unfair investigation, media frenzy and political statements are making me highly insecure about the safety of myself and my family members.”

He further said the company’s human resource department has been instructed to issue letters and certificates of experience for employees requiring them.

Choksi added: “I reiterate that I am committed to clear your past dues, if any, once things return to normalcy.”