PNB stock hits 52-week low on Rs 11400-cr fraud

Saturday, 17 Feb, 2018

After discovering India's largest corporate fraud in one of its branches, state-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) on Friday suspended eight more officials.

Modi and Choksi's passports have also been revoked for four weeks with immediate effect by the passport issuing authority in the Ministry of External Affairs.

Sources add that as many as 17 banks lent about Rs 3,000 crore to various firms of Nirav Modi, including his flagship firm Firestar International Ltd. In the second complaint to the CBI, the bank's management said that Modi and his compliances connived with its officials and swindled money to the tune of Rs 11400 crore.

According to agency officials, a case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) has been registered against Modi and his accomplices.

Besides Mumbai and Delhi, raids were conducted in Jaipur and Hyderabad too.

The party questioned why the Allahabad Bank approved the loan, purportedly related to Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi, though it was opposed by one of its directors, and wondered "who pressured the bank". Based on these transactions, done by his brother Nishal, wife Ami and Mehul Chinubhai Choksi, other banks appear to have advanced money to these customers overseas.

The AAP also alleged that the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) was "benefiting big businessmen and defrauders like Lalit Modi, Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi and its leaders were involved in the scams done by these people".

The idea of the scam, as disclosed, was that a junior official at PNB fraudulently issued "letters of undertaking", allowing Modi's companies to get those short-term loans from overseas bank branches.

The jewellery designer is a citizen of the country but his brother Nishal and wife Ami are not Indian nationals.

He said, " after his (Nirav Modi) passport is revoked he can not leave the place wherever he is now".

The raids that began on Thursday are expected to continue on Saturday, 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.

Javadekar, also a Union Minister, asserted that the fraud came to light when the current government made a decision to clean the entire banking system.

All major banks are now looking at their systems and processes after Punjab National Bank (PNB) on Wednesday referred the matter to law enforcement agencies for recovery.