Gitanjali Gems, the company owned by Mehul Choksi, who, along with his nephew celebrity jeweller Nirav Modi, engineered a massive bank fraud in the Indian diamond sector, tops the list of "wilful defaulters" released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Letters of credit (L/Cs) were embroiled in the fraud that was revealed two years ago when Punjab National Bank (PNB) said it had fallen victim to the US$2 billion scam linked to Choksi and Modi (DC World News, 16 February 2018).

Domestic debtors only

Indian banks have written off the equivalent of US$10.3 billion of debt racked up by the top 50 wilful defaulters up to 30 September 2019 according to a list drawn up by the RBI.

The central bank produced the list in response to a petition filed under India's right to information act.

The list excludes overseas debtors because there is no provision under the act to disclose their details.

L/C fraudster

Gitanjali Gems tops the RBI's list of wilful defaulters with US$826 million of debt.

One of Choksi's roles in the US$2 billion diamond sector fraud was to open L/Cs in the name of foreign suppliers.

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