PNB Fraud: CBI Intensifies Probe as Oppn Trains Guns on Modi Govt
Catch all the live updates on the PNB fraud case at The Quint.
One of India's Biggest Banking Frauds Detected
In a big jolt to the Indian banking sector, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) received two complaints from Punjab National Bank (PNB) against Nirav Modi, alleging fraudulent transactions to the tune of Rs 11,292 crore. In a statement, PNB said it has detected fraudulent and unauthorised transactions "for the benefit of few select account holders with their apparent connivance". The bank suspended 10 officials in connection with the case – and referred the matter to the CBI on 14 February, ANI reported.
These two complaints come just a few weeks after an alleged fraud of Rs 280 crore was reported against Modi and others in January. The CBI had registered an FIR in the case on 31 January. However, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) acted on that complaint soon after the two fresh complaints were received by the CBI. On Wednesday, the ED registered a money laundering case against the billionaire jeweller.
"My Client Has Not Fled India": Nirav Modi's Lawyer
Nirav Modi’s lawyer Vijay Aggarwal told Hindustan Times that his client had not fled India, and that he was being targeted by multiple agencies.
My client has not fled from India. He is being hounded by multiple agencies simultaneously. Decision on his return to India will be taken in due course.Nirav Modi’s lawyer Vijay Aggarwal told Hindustan Times
ED Seizes Assets Worth Over Rs 6,000 Crore in Raids: Reports
According to Economic Times, the Enforcement Directorate has seized close to Rs 6,000 crore through raids. The daily also reported that the ED is looking to move the PMLA Court soon to attach assets of both Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi.
According to other reports, the agency is continuing its searches in across 35 locations.
Bank Employees Union Wants Govt to Step in
The government should step into the ongoing PNB fraud case and keep out top management and officials until the probe is complete and accountability fixed, bank union AIBEA demanded.
The impression is that only lower level officials were involved, it added.
"What is sauce for the goose must be for the gander too. While we do not support the wrong-doers at the lower level, the impression is given that only the lower level officials and staff are responsible. Why such a haste and hurry to suspend them?" the All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) said in a strongly-worded letter on 19 February.
It will be prudent for the government to step in and keep out the entire top management and higher officials from the bank until the probe is completed and accountability is fixed, it said.
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