Standard Chartered free to seek new assets in US$770 million gold and diamond fraud after judge restores UK-incorporated shell companies

Standard Chartered Bank has more chance of taking possession of assets attached to alleged Indian gold and diamond fraudster, Jatin Mehta, after a judge in the UK high court restored four suspected shell companies.

The bank was one of several foreign banks that lent money to the gold and diamond trader’s main company, Winsome Diamonds, against letters of credit (L/Cs) provided by Indian banks in what the UK judge described as a premeditated fraud orchestrated by Mehta.

Asset chasing

The successful application to the court by Standard Chartered and its Indian affiliate will see the four UK-incorporated entities restored to the registrar of companies, enabling Standard Chartered to seek to seize assets attached to those companies.

The court took the view that Standard Chartered would likely succeed in persuading liquidators that their claims to the shell companies’ assets are viable.

Previous asset seizures

The bank has already taken possession of immoveable properties in Karnataka, Rajasthan, Surat, Goa, Kolkata and Mumbai attached to the main company in Mehta’s empire, Winsome Diamonds.

Mehta absconded from India in 2013 since when he has reportedly settled in the Caribbean island state of St Kitts and Nevis.


Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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