An accountancy firm based out of Harrow is now getting linked to companies named in the Panama papers that also audited the finances for diamond jeweler Nirav Modi’s UK businesses.
Nirav Modi Limited’s last set of accounts, up to March 31, 2017, shows that the company possessed no realizable assets and owed millions of pounds.
Dattani Chartered Accountants, based out of College Road, Harrow, was the most recent auditors for Nirav Modi Limited, a subsidiary of the company of the same name registered in Hong Kong which runs the fugitive billionaire’s jewelry and watches retail showrooms.
Nitin Dattani, the owner and founder of the firm, had audited the accounts but that he no longer worked for Nirav Modi Limited. “We have nothing to do with Nirav Modi. That company is a separate legal entity to him. We were the auditors of a company called Nirav Modi Limited, that is completely independent of Nirav Modi. We took instructions from the directors of Nirav Modi Limited and they were not him and the ownership of Nirav Modi Limited is not Nirav Modi either. I have no knowledge of him,” he said.
Although he admitted his accountancy practice had been named in the Panama Papers leaks, he claimed it was a mistake.
“This link between us and the Panama Papers is a mistake. We have not acted as an intermediary for any company mentioned in the Panama Papers. We may have done their tax returns but we were not involved in establishing them. I have written to the concerned people to complain,” he stated.
The balance sheet up to March 31, 2017, for the UK company which describes itself as the “retail sale of watches and jewelry in specialized stores” shows it was owed £2,043,612 by debtors and it owed creditors £8,717 074. The balance sheet also shows that the UK company, which started in 2014 with £3 million (Rs 26 crore) in shares, less than three years later, had lost all his capital.
Dattani Chartered Accountant was the registered office of the company in the UK until March 29, 2018, when the registered office switched to that of his jewelry shop in Old Bond Street in Mayfair, one of his seven worldwide stores.
According to the offshore leaks database managed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Dattani Chartered Accountants is the intermediary for 53 entities that have been exposed in the Panama Papers.