PNB Case: Will take Appropriate Supervisory Action, Says RBI

The PNB fraud at Rs11,363 crore is equivalent to almost a third of Punjab National Bank’s market value

The PNB fraud at Rs11,363 crore is equivalent to almost a third of Punjab National Bank’s market value

While Modi runs a jewellery brand chain under his name, his uncle Choksi is the promoter of Gitanjali Gems.

The ED raided the showrooms in Patna, Bhopal, Jaipur, Hyderabad and Durgapur run by Mehul Choksi's Gitanjali Jewels and seized diamonds, gold, precious stones, metals and jewellery worth Rs 25 crore.

Seeking police remand for the maximum period of the accused, a Central Bureau of Investigation's counsel said investigators need to recover certain important documents and records pertaining to the case, unravel the modus operandi of the fraudsters and zero in on the exact magnitude of the crime.

The government on Friday announced that the passport of the fugitive billionaire Modi and Choksi have been cancelled for four weeks. "We will be soon sending notice, if the purchase fails to match their returns we will initiate action against them", the official said.

In a scathing critique of the Prime Minister's tendency to remain silent on critical issues of national concern, Rahul said: "It is unusual the Prime Minister is tutoring the children how to take exams but can't tell the nation how one Nirav Modi snatched Rs 22,000 crore of people's money and fled". The Chief Minister took to Twitter and said that the scam which had started in 2011, is still going on.

The broadcaster said Modi, his wife, brother and uncle, Mehul Choksi, had left India before the scandal was discovered.

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA), a coalition of parties led by Modi's BJP, has governed India since 2014.

The arrested PNB officials were presented before a special CBI court on the same day in the evening after the arrest. The agency is probing if bank funds were laundered and the proceeds used by the accused to create illegal assets. Forbes now ranks him as India's 85th richest man with a net worth of $1.74 billion. Involvement and connivance of insiders and outsiders can not be ruled out and there is possibility that a number of senior officials of PNB are involved in the fraud, according to the CBI. A fresh FIR has been filed by the CBI on Friday. Further investigation revealed that their own Deputy Manager Gokulnath Shetty posted in the branch since 2010 and working in the foreign exchange department looking after import section was issuing it. Shetty has now been arrested by the CBI.

"The public servants committed abuse of official position to cause pecuniary advantage to Diamond R US, Solar Exports, Stellar Diamonds and a wrongful loss of Rs280.70 crore to Punjab National Bank during 2017", the CBI FIR has alleged.

The RBI statement said, "the fraud in PNB is a case of operational risk arising on account of delinquent behaviour by one or more employees of the bank and failure of internal controls". The investigators are examining roles of six of the branch officials for their alleged connivance in the fraud. It incorporates industrial facilities, plants, workplaces and residencies of them all.

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