New Delhi: Puzzled by the huge discrepancies and inconsistencies in valuation of assets of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi seized by the investigative agencies, the government has decided to go for an independent re-assessment of the valuation of the seized assets.
“There are lot of loopholes in the valuation of the seized assets. Some of it has been done arbitrarily, just based on the tag attached to it. Also it has many replicas, which has been wrongly valued based on price tag. It is important to arrive at a proper valuation. The government will, therefore, hire independent expert to reassess all these assets,” a senior official at finance ministry told TNIE.
The official added the two three agencies are shortlisted and the process will start soon.
The ED carried out a large-scale search and seize operation, which spread over 250 premises across multiple locations in India, including his sales office, retail showrooms, manufacturing units, workshops, third-party branded outlets and special economic zones, claiming to seize diamonds and Jewellery worth Rs.5,100 crore.
However, apart from the initial claims, the ED has been tight-lipped about the valuation of seized assets. Just within a week of the declaration, the valuation reduced to half and in May there were reports of the valuation reducing to one tenth of the original claim.
"It was difficult to arrive at the valuation. There were many counterfeits of the real jewellery for display with price tag. Also he used chemical vapor deposition (CVD) diamonds, which valuators consider as inferior quality diamonds. He still was able to cloak high price due to his brand value and high profile client lists. That was the reason the department was reluctant to come up with number," a senior official in the ED, on the condition of anonymity said.
Same was the case with Mehul Choksi. In fact when the investigative agencies seized these CVDs from a Surat unit of Choksi, its valuation dropped to Rs.10 lakh from the initial claim of Rs 1.06 crore.