CBI raids 26 places in Nirav Modi fraud case

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 17 Feb 2018 09:05:12



CBI questions 4 PNB officials in connection with Rs 11,400 crore fraud by Nirav Modi

CBI searches premises of the Gitanjali Group at 20 places in Mumbai, Pune, Surat, Jaipur, Hyderabad and Coimbatore

The CBI on Friday carried out searches in 26 places across India after naming 3 companies in fresh FIR registered in PNB fraud case. CBI also questioned 4 PNB officials in connection with the Rs 11,400-crore alleged fraud case involving Nirav Modi.

Meanwhile, the CBI on Friday registered a fresh FIR against the Gitanjali Group promoted by Mehul Choksi, uncle of billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, following a complaint from Punjab National Bank, and also approached the Interpol to locate them. Officials said the fresh FIR was based on a complaint from the PNB dated February 13. According to it, the alleged loss to PNB was over Rs 4,886 crore, they said.
The agency on Friday also carried out searches on the premises of the Gitanjali Group at 20 places in Mumbai, Pune, Surat, Jaipur, Hyderabad and Coimbatore.

“Searches are at locations belonging to Gitanjali group of Mehul Choksy, other directors of the accused companies and other group factories and plants including offices, factories and residences,” a CBI spokesperson said here on Friday.

It is alleged that the accused PNB officials in conspiracy with private persons sent unauthorised Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) and Foreign Letters of Credit to overseas branches of Indian banks for release of funds to accused companies’ suppliers or to clear liabilities of accused companies.

The officials also said the central agency approached the Interpol with a request for issuing Diffusion Notice which was aimed at locating an individual.
“This (diffusion) is less formal than a notice but is also used to request the arrest or location of an individual or additional information in relation to a police investigation. A diffusion is circulated directly by an NCB (CBI in this case) to the member countries of their choice, or to the entire INTERPOL membership and is simultaneously recorded in Interpol’s Information System,” the website of Interpol says.

The CBI was confident about getting a location of Modi and his family by Friday, they said.
Modi, who was alleged to have carried out fraudulent transactions worth over Rs 11,400 crore in PNB, had left the country in the first week of January.
The 46-year old, who holds an Indian passport, left India on January 1, while his brother Nishal, a Belgian citizen, departed from the country on same day. However, whether they travelled together has to be probed, they said. Modi’s wife Ami, a US citizen, left on January 6 and his business Mehul Choksi left on January 4, the officials said.

The CBI and the Enforcement Directorate have approached the Government seeking revocation of passports of Modi and Choksi.
The bank has claimed in three complaints to the CBI that so far it has detected 150 Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) which were fraudulently issued by its officials in connivance with Modi and the other accused in the case, the officials said. An LoU is a letter of comfort issued by one bank to branches of other banks, based on which foreign branches offer credit to buyers.

Allahabad Bank discloses Rs 2,000 cr exposure in PNB fraud: ALLAHABAD Bank has an exposure of around Rs 2,000 crore by way of Letter of Undertakings issued by Punjab National Bank to Nirav Modi, the billionaire diamond merchant in the centre of a Rs 11,400-crore fraud.
“We have an exposure of around Rs 2,000 crore in the fraud detected by PNB two days back,” a source in Allahabad Bank said.

PNB has said that group companies of Nirav Modi and his relative Mehul Chokshi’s Gitanjali Gems in collusion with two of their officials from its Brady House Mumbai branch, were fraudulently receiving LoUs since 2011. Foreign branches of a few Indian banks gave credit against these LoUs to Nirav Modi’s companies to repay overseas suppliers.

SBI discloses $212-mn exposure through PNB: COUNTRY’S largest lender SBI on Friday said it has an exposure of USD 212 million (about Rs 1,360 crore) in respect to letter of
undertaking issued by Punjab National Bank to Nirav Modi, but does not have any direct exposure to the absconding jewellery designer.

We don’t have any direct exposure on Nirav Modi but we do have some exposure on Punjab National Bank, State Bank of India Chairman Rajnish Kumar told reporters.