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CBI raids Cyril Amarchand in Nirav Modi scam probe • CAM co-operates, shares docs with cops

CAM worked for Nirav Modi, now CBI visits its office (photo via Nirav Modi Facebook page)
CAM worked for Nirav Modi, now CBI visits its office (photo via Nirav Modi Facebook page)

The Mumbai office of law firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM) was raided by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) last week, in connection with the Nirav Modi scam.

Cyril Amarchand is understood to have been instructed by Modi - who has not worked with the firm before - less than a month ago in a matter, before the scam came to light.

We understand that the firm cooperated with the CBI and handed over all documents related to the Modi mandate to the CBI.

The banking-related mandate with Modi is understood to have been terminated by the firm, after the scam came to light on 14 February.

The firm declined to comment when contacted.

Modi is under CBI and enforcement directorate (ED) investigation for a suspected fraud involving state-owned Punjab National Bank, whose officials allegedly advanced fraudulent letters of credit to billionaire Modi’s company causing a loss of up to $1.8bn.

As one lawyer without a horse in this race told us a few days ago, “Nirav would have been a marquee client” to most firms in the past.

For instance, Luthra & Luthra had been instructed by Modi-promoted Firestar Diamond on its plans for initial public offering (IPO) that were first mooted in 2016 until as recently as December 2017, but never came to fruition (in relation to that issue, Khaitan & Co had been briefed by the future issues’s managers Kotak Bank, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch).

And DSK Legal is understood to have worked with Modi’s company in the past on standard corporate transactions and deals.

Besides being a billionaire client, he would also have been a respected acquaintance in legal socialite circles: Luthra & Luthra managing partners Rajiv Luthra and Karanjawala & Co managing partner Raian Karanjawala, for instance, were both mentioned by name in Nirav Modi's press release about the launch of its Delhi flagship store in 2014.

After the scam broke, advocate Vijay Agarwal has apparently been representing the fugitive Modi, to borrow Arnab Goswami's words.

It is understood from sources that Bombay high court senior advocate Amit Desai may also have been instructed.

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