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PNB scam: Passports of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi revoked, reveal sources

26 February 2018

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on February 17 had arrested PNB's retired Deputy Manager, Gokulnath Shetty and its Single Window Operator Manoj Kharat in the multi-crore fraud case.

In a bid to tighten internal controls in the banks, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked banks to integrate SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) with its core banking solutions (CBS) by April 30.

"Frauds of such magnitude and scale - PNB fraud Rs 11,400 crore and OBC fraud Rs 390 crore - has forced us to consider substantially much higher risk cover than the basic banker's indemnity policy which various banks have right now", a top public sector bank official said.

The ED on Saturday attached 21 properties, including a penthouse and a farmhouse, of Nirav Modi and his group worth over Rs 523 crore.

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Sources said that till March 31, 2017, Mehul Choksi and his companies Geetanjali Gems, Gili India and Nakshatra Brand owed close to Rs 3,000 crore in the form of 37 bank loans. The same is again totally false and incorrect. Both Modi and Choski are said to have left the country before criminal cases were lodged against them. In the statement its officials stated that several unauthorized transactions have been detected at its branch that were apparently made for the benefit of few privileged account holders with active connivance of branch officials.

The agency has frozen Mutual funds and shares worth Rs 7.80 crore of Nirav Modi and Rs 86.72 crore belonging to his uncle Mehul Choksi of the Gitanjali Group. "At no stage, such facilities were extended by our bank to your three partner firms".

Sources said that if they skipped the summons, the agency may approach a special PMLA court to get warrants without bail against them.

"Your commitment and undertaking for sparing of the total liability was not backed by providing upfront amounts and timelines".

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Separately, PNB said a news report that it had approached the global accounting firm PwC to conduct a probe into the alleged fraud that would help it build a case against Nirav Modi and his associates was "totally incorrect".

The bank reiterated that it had enough assets and capital to meet any liabilities from the fraud.

The letter, accessed by ET through his lawyer Sanjay Abbot, says the HR was being instructed to issue relieving letters and experience certificates to employees.

Separately, on Thursday, responding to clarifications sought by the stock exchange, PNB in a regulatory filing said it had followed all "lawful avenues available" to recover its dues.

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PNB scam: Passports of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi revoked, reveal sources