Even Nirav Modi is feeling the heat of Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud that was allegedly engineered by his firms in collusion with bank officials. Days after the central agencies registered cases against businessman Nirav Modi in connection with Rs 11,400 crore PNB fraud, he was today suspended by an industry body affiliated to World Economic Forum (WEF).
WEFs associate Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship (SFSE) has suspended Nirav Modi and his company Firestar Diamond’s from its partnership. The development was confirmed by WEF to India Today.
Speaking to India Today, Georg Schmitt, Head of Corporate Affairs of World Economic Forum, said, “As you correctly stated, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship has decided to suspend partnership with Firestar Diamond”.
WEF CRACKS WHIP ON NIRAV MODI: THINGS TO KNOW
- Nirav Modi allegedly used his firm’s partnership with Schwab Foundation to ambush a photo-op with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Davos in Switzerland last month. However, it has been said that Nirav Modi was not a member of the prime minister’s official delegation.
- WEF representative confirmed his participation in the WEF summit at Davos. “We can confirm that he attended the Annual Meeting 2018,” Schmitt said. The photograph showing Nirav Modi and Narendra Modi appearing in the same frame snowballed into a huge political controversy with the Congress accusing the prime minister of encouraging a defaulter and corrupt businessman.
- The Congress alleged that Nirav Modi became part of the photo-op with the prime minister after getting permission from the government. However, the ministry of external affairs has maintained that Nirav Modi was not a part of official delegation and didn’t get a chance to meet the PM Modi.
- According to WEF, Nirav Modi’s firm Firestar Diamond has been an Associate Partner since 2013 and he has been attending World Economic Forum’s annual events in Davos regularly. Asked if the Foundation was able to get in touch with Nirav Modi recently, the official said, “We did not yet have a chance to hear from Nirav Modi directly.”
- The confirmation by the WEF is significant given that it had chosen to keep silent on the issue. It did not respond to the emails and calls from India Today for five days. But, after Nirav Modi’s name was removed from WEF’s website, the foundation confirmed that a punitive action was taken against the central figure in the PNB fraud case.
- Professor Klaus Schwab founded the World Economic Forum as an independent not-for-profit foundation in 1971. In 1998, Klaus Schwab and his wife Hilde decided to launch second complementary foundation, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship which works with WEF partners on various social projects.
- Narendra Modi became the first Indian prime minister since 1997 to attend WEF’s annual event in Davos in January.