Unless you’re living under a rock, you probably would’ve heard the name of Nirav Modi. He was involved in a ₹14,356.84 crore fraud at our very own Punjab National Bank and is currently in the United Kingdom, seeking political asylum. But did you know that the man can go to any lengths to steal money from anyone, even if it’s a few thousand dollars?
According to the Indian Express, Canadian national Paul Alfonso has recently reported that his friendship with Nirav Modi has cost him ₹1.47 crore ($200,000) and his marriage.
Alfonso first met Nirav in 2012 at the Beverly Hills Hotel and subsequently met each other a few more times after that. He said that he saw Nirav as an older brother figure and even felt a “good connection” with him. And Nirav utilised that aspect when Alfonso’s girlfriend requested to order a second pair of rings for their engagement.
Considering how Alfonso trusted Nirav, he ordered two rings which were made from a 2.5 carat oval diamond. After that, he wired the money to a Hong Kong account and received the rings from Nirav’s assistant Ari in June. And without waiting any further, Alfonso proposed to his girlfriend with both rings and she said “yes.”
Now, if you’re a sucker for happy endings, this is where you turn around because it all gets ugly from here. Because as soon as Nirav Modi received the money, he shut down all communications, didn’t send the invoice and the authenticity certificates, and the stones turned to be fake. Alfonso said,
“When she told me, I was like ‘That’s impossible. I spent US$200,000 on those rings. There’s no way they are fake. It’s Nirav we are talking about’.”
Just when Alfonso and his girlfriend were recovering from the shock of being sold fake diamonds, they turned on the news and received yet another jolt to their sense. He said,
“I am usually very careful when I am dealing with a big transaction like this, but again, this is Nirav. I would not imagine him trying to take a few hundred thousand from me when a guy is worth millions of dollars.”
The saddest part about Alfonso’s encounter with Nirav is that it was too hard for the couple and they broke up a few days after news of the scam flooded the internet. Alfonso has decided to go after Nirav, but he doesn’t have any hopes of succeeding.
“I realised that even if I go after this guy, there are so many creditors before me who are trying to get compensated. I want people to know that this man can’t be trusted. He doesn’t just steal from banks. He will steal from you too because his fortune has gone up in smoke.”
Apart from an angry e-mail to Nirav, Alfonso has filed an unlimited civil lawsuit against him with the Superior Court of California, suing him for $4.2 million dollar. That includes the price of the rings ($200,000), $1 million for punitive damages and another $3 million for emotional distress, pain and suffering. The hearing for it will take place in January next year.
Everyone from the banks, higher officials and politicians are playing the blame game regarding Nirav Modi’s scam. But what he did to Alfonso and his girlfriend is all on him. So, even if Nirav thinks that he can hide in the loopholes of the law, karma will certainly get to him for ruining two innocent lives.