In a high-profile auction, India’s tax authorities successfully raised $7.65 million by selling off a range of luxury items that once belonged to fugitive billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi. These items included a Rolls-Royce Ghost, Hermès handbags, and rare paintings. Nirav Modi is facing allegations of involvement in a massive bank fraud that sent shockwaves through India’s corporate sector.
Nirav Modi fled India in February 2018 and has been entangled in a legal battle in a London court to prevent his extradition from Britain.
Dinesh Vazirani, the Chief of the renowned auction house Saffronart, noted, «We witnessed intense competition among global bidders across various categories.»
Among the highlights of the auction, the Rolls-Royce Ghost fetched $240,000, while a masterpiece by Amrita Sher-Gil from 1935 sold for an impressive $2.24 million. The auction also featured exquisite timepieces from luxury brands like Jaeger-LeCoultre and Patek Philippe, alongside coveted Hermès Birkin and Kelly bags, as well as Chanel handbags.
Before the alleged fraud, Forbes estimated Nirav Modi’s wealth at $1.73 billion, positioning him at the 85th spot on India’s rich list. His luxury jewellery boutiques had a global presence, attracting A-list clients such as Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet, and Priyanka Chopra-Jonas.
Nirav Modi was apprehended in London on March 19, 2019. During the same month, a significant portion of his art collection was auctioned, generating $8 million in revenue for tax authorities. Furthermore, authorities demolished his sprawling 33,000-square-foot seafront mansion near Mumbai, valued at approximately $14 million, after it was seized.