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March 23, 2018
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Now, Congress picks Winsome case to poke Narendra ModiWinsome Group chairman Jatin Mehta and his wife fled from India, gave up their Indian citizenship on June 2, 2016 and settled down in St. Kitts

Flagging yet another banking fraudthe Congress on Thursday raised the case of the Winsome Group chairman Jatin Mehta, who allegedly fled the country after the non-payment of a loan worth ₹6,712 crore.

Congress’ media in-charge Randeep Surjewala said the complaints in Mr. Mehta’s case were filed by the banks to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and also to the Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai Police in February 2014. The annual financial statement of Winsome Diamonds and Jewellery Limited (WDJL) for the financial year 2013-14 filed with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, too, recorded these complaints.

The CBI lodged six FIRs in April 2017. Mr. Mehta and his wife fled from India, gave up their Indian citizenship on June 2, 2016 and settled down as citizens of the international tax haven St. Kitts and Nevis.

Detailing the modus operandi, Mr. Surjewala said that Mr. Mehta imported gold based on letters of credit issued by Indian banks. Jewellery was exported to 13 entities in Dubai, who refused to pay back.

“Who is Jatin Mehta? Does the protection emanate on account of his close relationship with an industrial house close to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi?” Mr. Surjewala asked. Mr. Mehta’s son is married to the daughter of industrialist Gautam Adani’s elder brother.

St Kitts has an Interpol office but still the government did not issue a red corner notice, said Mr. Surjewala. “How could the Home Ministry permit renunciation of citizenship in the absence of appropriate police verification in view of pendancy of complaints with the CBI/ED (Enforcement Directorate) and other agencies, as also the declaration of loans of all his companies as non-performing assets,” Mr. Surjewala added.

He said that businessmen close to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government are perfecting the “art of leaving”. “Modi (Nirav), Mehul (Choksi) and Mehta (Jatin) scammed and scrammed under the Modi government’s watch,” Mr. Surjewala said.

He added that while the Congress is flagging banking frauds, it does not support the privatisation of the national banks.