PNB Fraud Case: Arrested Accused Not Co-operating in Investigation, Say CBI Sources

19 Febrero, 2018, 02:03 | Author: Arnold Perez
  • PNB Fraud Case: Arrested Accused Not Co-operating in Investigation, Say CBI Sources

It would seem so from the details provided by PNB to the investigative agency on the basis of which the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed two first information reports - one against three companies of Nirav Modi and the other against the Gitanjali group of three companies of Mehul Choksi, uncle of Nirav.

"CBI has Shetty, Single Window Operator Manoj Kharat and authorised signatory of the Nirav Modi Group of Firms, Hemant Bhat", a CBI official said.

The PNB told the CBI that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) prescribes that outstanding buyer's credit for import of semi-precious and precious stones, including pearls, should not be extended for more than 90 days.

Even as billionaire Nirav Modi, the accused in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank scam, remain absconding, media reports reveal that the jeweller has close business and family relations with the Ambani family.

The agency had conducted searches at several places linked to Nirav Modi in Mumbai, Delhi, and Gujarat, and seized diamonds, jewellery and gold worth Rs 5,649 crore.

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Modi is said to have been staying at a suite at JW Marriott's Essex House, which is only a short walk away from his jewelry retail store at Madison Avenue, NDTV reported. In case of default, the bank issuing the LoU has to pay the liability to credit giving bank along with accruing interest. It is up to the bank to ensure that only qualified employees can send messages over SWIFT. Other banks, including State Bank of India and Union Bank of India, are also said to be at risk of loss.

Since then, the loans and guarantees would have increased over the past year and the total "hit" to Indian banks "may well exceed" US$3 billion, according to an internal note prepared by the tax authority on its preliminary investigation into India's biggest bank fraud case.

The Indian banks overseas did not mind as their money was safe (under guarantee from PNB) and increasing because of the accruing interest.

Modi is the latest Indian businessman to have left the country to escape facing charges of financial crimes, prompting opposition parties to question Prime Minister Modi's fight against corruption. An alarmed bank dug out all such LoUs and FLCs showing a mammoth liability towards other banks.

The other banks which have or have had exposure to the fraud include State Bank of India (over Dollars 221 million), Allahabad Bank and Axis Bank among others. Once the formalities are complete, the request would be moved, the officer also noted. Subsequently, they increased the amounts by a message through the SWIFT transaction network to the beneficiary bank without any reference to the CBS of PNB.

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