It is business as usual at Nirav Modi’s high-class store in Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands complex despite all the headlines on the fraud-tainted fugitive jeweller back home. The outlet in the casino-convention-exhibition complex is operating as an international brand of Nirav Modi. The store has attracted more attention from Indian tourists and persons of Indian origin since the allegation of bank-linked frauds surfaced last month. “Persons of Indian-origin are walking in and taking photos,” said a sales executive of another brand outlet in the complex.
The up-market foreign shoppers are not aware of the ongoing scandal linked to Modi, who is allegedly the key person behind the Rs 12,700 crore scam at the Punjab National Bank. Modi, his associates and related companies are under the regulatory scanner. “We are here to buy jewellery that is legally available. There is nothing wrong in buying something from our own hard earned money,” said a shopper.
Some shoppers believe the Nirav Modi International brand is operating according to local laws here. Banking frauds happen as part of ‘black sheep’ operatives. But Nirav Modi-PNB scandal has hit India very hard just as the government is trying to recapitalise financially-strapped PSBs in the country, said a banking source.
The Nirav Modi outlet sells a simple ring for 2,400 Singapore dollars and a basic diamond-studded necklace could cost a shopper 330,000 dollars. Marina Bay Sands (MBS) shops host the world’s leading brands. MBS shops are rated way above the fashionable outlets in the hotel-belt of Orchard Road, Singapore’s most premium shopping centre.