In a recent report written by Chaim Even-Zohar, the Diamond Intelligence Briefing accused Winsome Diamonds and Jewellery Ltd promoter, Mr Jatin Mehta, of defrauding an Indian banking consortium out of a sum in the order of some 1.25 billion US dollars, along with various other alleged improprieties and wrongdoings. In an interview with the Better Diamond Initiative, Winsome Director Harshad Udani denied all such accusations.
The Kroll Report, published on the Bombay Stock Exchange Website, made some damning allegations as to the conduct of Winsome Diamonds. However, upon being asked by Winsome to provide documentary evidence to back up her statements, Ms Reshmi Khurana of KROLL admitted that she did not have access to Winsome’s accounting records; nor indeed had she ever had sight of them. When asked what evidence she had based the Kroll Report on, Ms Khurana conceded that it had largely been based upon market intelligence. When pressed further for proof, Ms Khurana was forced to admit that the Report was largely based on hearsay, providing no documentary evidence to back up her allegations.
In interview with the Better Diamond Initiative, Harshad Udani pointed out that the Kroll Report contained a great deal of inaccurate data and false information. Indeed, the Kroll Report was unanimously rejected by the consortium of lenders, as evidenced in the minutes of a meeting held on 15th September 2013. Mr Udani asserted that United Arab Emirate Court findings served as further proof of the Kroll Report’s fallacy. He pointed out that the Sharjah Federal Court had traced the money alleged in the Kroll Report to have been misappropriated by Winsome, finding in Winsome’s favour against some 13 debtors to the tune of almost 55 million US dollars. Despite all of this – with Court Judgments readily available and, indeed, a matter of public record, the banks, industry and media continue to quote the erroneous Kroll Report, a fact which Mr Udani states is indicative of ulterior motives behind these destructive, defamatory allegations against Winsome Diamonds.
Citing the negative press as part of a wider public smear campaign, waged not only against Winsome Diamonds but its promoter, Jatin Mehta, Mr Udani pointed out that one of Winsome’s harshest critics, Chaim Even-Zohar, is far from being an impartial spectator. Writing in the Diamond Intelligence Briefing, Zohar made a number of groundless accusations and inflammatory remarks regarding Jatin Mehta’s business dealings. Mr Udani asserts that Zohar has skilfully diverted the attention of the media away from his own diamond industry interests. He points out that Zohar and the Diamond Intelligence Briefing have a vested interest, acting as agents for a number of earth-mined diamond powerhouses. His vendetta against Winsome Diamonds, given Jatin Mehta’s son Vishal’s successes in his lab-grown diamond business, seems questionable to say the least. Given the catastrophic effect a surge in lab-grown diamonds could potentially have on sales of earth-mined gems, tarnishing the image of rivals in a multi-billion dollar industry would appear to be a very strong incentive indeed.