The Raigad collectorate tasked with demolishing absconding diamantaire Nirav Modi’s bungalow in Kihim, Alibaug, found expensive fittings, valuable cars and objets d’art that may be antiques in the residence that is in the process of being demolished. The bungalow, named Roopanya, was deemed an illegal construction for occupying 1,071 square meters even though the permitted construction area was 376 square metres.
The property was seized by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which has charged Modi with money laundering in the Punjab National Bank scam, and the seized objects are expected to be auctioned to raise money.
Roopanya had six bedrooms and an underground level with two swimming pools, a driveway, a terrace garden and coconut and suruchi trees on its premises.
According to a court order, among the objects seized by the authorities are a one-and-a-half tonne Buddha statue, wall hangings, an antique curtain that allegedly belonged to the Nizam of Hyderabad, chandeliers, and a Rexton RX 270 four-wheel drive. The Rexton is registered under Nirav Modi’s company Firestar Diamond International Private Limited, which the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has probed for illegally diverting import duty-exempted cut and polished diamonds and pearls. Also seized were furniture, air conditioners, and expensive fittings. The sanitary ware and sliding windows in the bungalow are imported, sources said. “At present, the bungalow has only fixtures which will be removed and auctioned by the Public Works Department (PWD). Once the PWD has removed the fittings from the bungalow, we can go ahead with its demolition,” said a senior official from Raigad district administration.
The demolition process started on February 1 and is expected to take two weeks to finish.