Thursday, 20 September, 2018

India's federal police arrest sixth bank official in $1.8-billion fraud case

Website of Gitanjali Group Website of Gitanjali Group
Nellie Chapman | 22 February, 2018, 09:49

The CBI has arrested a General Manager (GM) rank officer of Punjab National Bank (PNB), Rajesh Jindal, who was the Branch Head at PNB Brady House branch in Mumbai during August 2009to May 2011. He was on Wednesday presented in a special CBI court in Mumbai which sent him to the agency's custody till March 5, an official said.

In its remand application, CBI stated, "Ambani's knowledge of the fraudulent transactions is proved from the fact that during searches at his office, the applications of fraudulent LoUs made to PNB by the three firms of Nirav Modi were seized". Between 2011 and early 2017, guarantees worth 65 billion rupees ($1 billion) were issued without any collateral, followed by another 49 billion rupees over March to May a year ago, when Shetty retired, according PNB's complaint that has been made public.

Advocate Limosin said that Kavita Mankikar, an executive assistant to Modi, was authorised signatory of M/s Diamonds 'R'US, M/s Stellar Diamonds and M/s Solar Exports and she had signed the fraudulent LoUs to PNB for the issuance of buyers credit.

"It is incumbent on us as a state ... to chase these people to the last possible conclusion to make sure the country is not cheated", he said.

Meanwhile, the CBI will produce in court today the six accused arrested yesterday in the PNB probe. Choksi has not commented on the case but Gitanjali, in a stock exchange filing, has denied his involvement in the alleged fraud. "We do not have any information", said official spokesperson of PNB. Vipul, the president (finance) of Firestar International, the lead company of Modi's empire, was arrested on Tuesday. Aggarwal said that the law prescribes that women can only be arrested before sunset.

The Central Bureau of Investigation is looking into allegations that Nirav Modi, a jeweller to Hollywood stars including Kate Winslet and Naomi Watts, was involved in scamming India's second-largest state bank of nearly US$1.8 billion. The bungalow, "Roapanya", was searched on Tuesday after documents pertaining to its ownership were recovered during raids.

Speaking to media here, Vijay Aggarwal said, "This is your perception that he is absconder". ED is likely to take custody of the property later.

Federal police say Modi, a jeweller to Hollywood stars such as Kate Winslet, left India with his family in January, prior to the case being filed.