Published: Mon, February 19, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

India State Banks Reveal Exposure in Billion-Dollar Fraud Case

India State Banks Reveal Exposure in Billion-Dollar Fraud Case

India's premier investigating agency Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Saturday arrested a former deputy general manager and two others in fraudulent transition cases worth about 1.77 billion US dollars at India's state-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB), officials said.

"Informers have told us that Nirav Modi in all likelihood is in Hong Kong and his maternal uncle Mehul Choksi is in the U.S., but in the absence of any official confirmation from Interpol, we can not say anything conclusively", said a senior officer, entrusted with the probe into the PNB scam, who did not wish to be named.

Modi has been accused of involvement in a multibillion dollar bank fraud.

Days after the Rs 11,400 crore fraud at PNB shook the country, private sector City Union Bank today said it suffered three fraudulent remittances of almost $2 million (about Rs 12.8 crore). The interrogation has reveled that for every Letter of Undertaking (LoU), a percentage of amount was fixed depending on which was to be sanctioned.

Other banks which were involved in giving credit based on LoUs issued by PNB were Axis Bank, Union Bank and SBI. Authorities earlier said a total of Rs. 5,649cr-worth assets were seized in the raids (as on 15 February).

The investigation agency has also arrested Hemant Bhat, Authorised Signatory of the Nirav Modi Group of Firms.

The BJP has alleged that the multi-crore PNB scam involving billionaire jewellery designer Nirav Modi happened during the UPA rule and the Congress was spreading lies to mislead the public.

I-T Department prepared an internal note as part of its preliminary investigation into PNB scam, the biggest Indian banking fraud case. They were sent to CBI custody for 14 days by a Mumbai court, which said the scam has "consequences for the economy of the nation" and that it was a "very serious offence". Additionally, three companies of Gitanjali Group were also named in the CBI FIR registered on Thursday for causing alleged loss of Rs 4,886.72 crore.

"With the help of Ministry of External Affairs through Consulate General of Shanghai and Istanbul and office of the National Cyber Security Council (PMO) all possible efforts through diplomatic and legal channels are being taken to repatriate the money", it said. If you're Mehul Bhai or Nirav Modi, you can rob a bank and flee the country. In the latest photograph Nirav Modi is reportedly seen standing just behind the Prime Minister.

According to the FIR filed by CBI, most of the loans were given to the accused under Modi government in 2017.

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