Jatin Mehta Fails in Bid to Unfreeze $932m Assets

London: Fugitive Indian diamond merchant Jatin Mehta has lost his legal challenge against the freezing of his assets, worth $932m, by a British court.

The high court in London ruled that the worldwide freezing order (WFO) imposed in May 2022 on Mehta and his family must continue.

He is accused of defrauding 15 lenders out of more than $1bn lent to his companies Winsome Diamonds and Jewellery Ltd and Forever Precious Diamonds & Jewellery Ltd in 2013 and of then laundering the money to fund his lab grown diamond business. He denies all accusations.

Mr. Mehta and his family were found to be living in London earlier this year, after being granted citizenship of St Kitts and Nevis, which has no extradition arrangement with India.

Mr. Mehta sought discharge from the WFO, but was rejected. The judge said there was a “good arguable case” against the family that the case involves a “major international fraud”, according to a Hindustan Times report.