Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

PNB closed all options to recover dues by going public: Nirav Modi

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Nellie Chapman | 21 February, 2018, 08:35

A special court on Tuesday sent three suspended Punjab National Bank (PNB) officials - Bechchu Tiwari, Yashwant Joshi, and Praful Sawant - to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) custody till March 3. Official sources said ED sleuths searched Modi's flat in the Samudra Mahal apartments in Worli.

After entering the transactions on the SWIFT messaging system, the official, who worked at the same branch from 2010 to 2017 despite normal bank practices of regular rotations - did not record them on PNB's internal system, according to the bank's complaint. In a letter to PNB management, Modi has said that by making details of the alleged "scam" public, the bank has lost chances of recovering all the dues from him and his group, which are much less than the amount claimed by the bank. RBI said "it had, therefore, confidentially cautioned and alerted banks of such possible misuse, at least on three occasions since August 2016, advising them to implement the safeguards detailed in the RBI communications, for pre-empting such occurrences". In the defence of his relatives booked in the cases filed by the central agencies, he has said that they have nothing to do with the operations of the firms that are being investigated.

Gitanjali last week denied Choksi had any involvement with the alleged fraud, saying he would take "necessary legal steps" to get his name removed from the CBI case.

In the latest development of the Punjab National Bank (PNB) 11,400 crore scam, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested Vipul Ambani, President of finance, Firestar worldwide diamond group.

The bank has named Nirav Modi's brother, his American wife Ami, and uncle Choksi besides some others in the FIR.

The CBI also conducted searches at their residences located at Navi Mumbai, Andheri, and Dombivili.

Modi in his letter to PNB requested the bank to allow him to sell his Firestar group and other three firms which value around Rs. 6500 crore so, that he could repay the debt at some extent. Besides Chowdary, Vigilance Commissioner T M Bhasin and officials from the Finance Ministry and PNB attended the meeting, they said.

It is now known that arrested PNB deputy manager foreign exchange department Gokulnath Shetty who has since retired, illegally accessed Level-5 SWIFT password with Nirav's firm.

Ambani is in charge of finances at one of Nirav Modi's firms; four others arrested as well.

For the unversed, the Punjab National Bank detected a 1.77 billion dollar scam, in which jeweller Nirav Modi acquired fraudulent letters of undertaking from one of its branches for overseas credit from other Indian lenders.

The government has written to the Reserve Bank of India flagging doubts over supervisory lapses in the PNB scam.

The investigation in the PNB fraud pertains to 143 LoUs worth Rs4,886 crore fraudulently issued by the bank officials.