A court here today issued an arrest warrant against absconding diamantaire Nirav Modi in a case of alleged customs duty evasion registered by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).
Chief Judicial Magistrate B H Kapadia issued the warrant as Modi failed to present himself during the court hearings, public prosecutor Nayan Sukhadwala said.
In March, the Mumbai DRI had registered the case against Modi and his firms based in the Surat Special Economic Zone for allegedly selling diamonds and pearls worth Rs 890 crore, meant for export, in the domestic market.
As per the SEZ norms, duty-free import of goods by the units located in the SEZ is permitted only if the goods are to be used as raw material and are exported after value addition or processing.
The DRI has alleged that Modi imported high-value diamonds and pearls through his units in the SEZ and sold them in the domestic market.
To evade import duty, he exported low-quality diamonds and pearls and claimed that these were the ones imported earlier and processed.
It had resulted in evasion of customs duty of Rs 52 crore, the DRI has alleged.