Monday, 19 March, 2018

PNB fraud: Gitanjali Group's vice president detained by CBI

PNB fraud case CBI arrests V-P of Gitanjali group Closed office premises of Gitanjali Gems Ltd at Arena House MIDC Andheri
Kristopher Love | 07 March, 2018, 17:29

Vipul Chitalia, the vice president, banking operations of Gitanjali Group of Companies was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday, hours after detaining him for interrogation in connection to the PNB fraud case. Judge S.R. Tamboli, giving CBI their custody till March 17, said there were voluminous documents with which the accused needed to confront. Heading the banking operations of Gitanjali Group, it is unlikely that Chitalia would not had been a signatory to the applications seeking fraudulent Letter of Undertakings (LoUs) from the Punjab National Bank. Chitalia was arrested from the Mumbai airport on Tuesday morning by the CBI, soon after he landed in the city from Bangkok. Chitalia apart from being privy to the modalities of putting through transactions with Mehul Choksi, the prime accused along with Nirav Modi was also instrumental in concealing incriminating documents pertaining to the scam. The agency yesterday arrested Vipul Chitalia in the Rs 12,636-crore PNB scam and claimed that he was a "mastermind" who reported directly to diamond trader Mehul Choksi. During the questioning, Chitalia also detailed how Choksi left the country.

Further investigation is continuing, the spokesperson said. The ED officials said that the seizures were to verify records to ascertain if the transactions were towards shell companies or they existed beyond paper. He was produced in CBI court which remanded him in police custody till March 15. He was directly in touch with the deputy manager of the Punjab National Bank, Gokulnath Shetty who was recently arrested by the CBI. The team from Axis Bank was followed by a senior manager from its larger rival ICICI Bank also going into the south Mumbai office of the agency, where he answered questions regarding its exposure to Gitanjali Gems, sources said.