March 19, 2018

India CBI arrests four more people in PNB probe

05 March 2018, 12:56 | Simon Arnold

PNB fraud: CBI arrests bank's retired chief auditor, ED attaches Choksi's properties

PNB fraud: Internal auditor at Mumbai branch sent to police custody till March 13

The agency says they have made it clear to Modi that his presence is required for the investigation into such a huge scam which can not be conducted as per his convenience.

A DRI officer said, "Sanction for prosecution of Modi and three of his firms was obtained under the guidelines of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC)".

The ED has seized diamonds and other valuables to the tune of around Rs 5,700 crore from Modi's jewellery outlets.

The agency has arrested two employees and an auditor of the Nirav Modi group of companies, while a director of the Gitanjali group of companies owned by Choksi has also been taken into custody, they said.

With this, 18 people have been arrested in connection with the case which came to light on January 31 after the CBI registered a case on a complaint from the PNB against Nirav, his uncle Mehul Choksi, wife Ami and brother Nishal.

Mumbai: A Special PMLA court in Mumbai on Saturday issued non bailable warrant against Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi in connection with (Punjab National Bank) PNB Fraud Case. He added that the agency received replies from Nirav for two summonses. The ED lawyer said Nirav Modi did not appear before the agency for questioning and hence it has sought issuance of an NBW was against him. "The case involves a circuitous web of routes created by the said Modi and in such circumstances, the fraudulent transactions appear to be in the personal knowledge and exclusive domain of Nirav Modi". Both have issued statements denying the CBI's charges.

The estimated Rs 12,700 crore fraud was perpetrated by way of fraudulent Letter of Undertakings (LoUs) in connivance with some bank employees. On Thursday, the CBI arrested another former bank official, Bishnubrata Mishra, who was the internal chief auditor between 2011 and 2015 at the Brady House branch, ANI reported.

A special court has sent six accused, arrested in connection with the fraud case including Gokulnath Shetty, to 14 days judicial custody. The LOUs opened by PNB favouring overseas branches of Indian banks which would pay the diamantaires' overseas suppliers of pearls and rough diamonds were not backed by any margin or collateral.

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