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.
PNB Case: RBI, Sebi to Seek Help from Hong Kong Regulators
The Reserve Bank and the Sebi are likely to approach their counterparts in Hong Kong for cooperation in the matter relating to the whopping over Rs 11,000 crore fraud at public sector lender PNB where several entities have come under the scanner, officials said.
The regulators are set to spread their net overseas as it has been found that credit was availed from various bank branches in Hong Kong on the basis of Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) issued by Punjab National Bank.
PNB Cautions Other Banks About Modus Operandi of Fraud
Hit by a Rs 11,400 crore fraud, state-owned Punjab National BankBSE -6.82 % (PNB) has cautioned other banks about the modus operandi of the scam.
"It has been reported through a preliminary investigation that the suspected fraud has been carried out by the perpetrators in collusion with the staff of one of the our branches in Mumbai," PNB said in a letter sent to various banks, including those from the private and public sector as also to foreign lenders.
ED Conducts Multiple Raids
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday, 15 February conducted multiple searches in connection with the earlier alleged fraud of Rs 280 crore.
Below is a list of places that were raided.
Official sources said agency sleuths swooped down on at least nine premises of entities involved in the case early on Thursday morning.
The premises raided by the ED include Modi's residence in Kurla, his jewellery boutique in Kala Ghoda area, three company locations in Bandra and Lower Parel, three premises in Surat in Gujarat and Modi's showrooms in Chanakyapuri and Defence Colony in Delhi.
The ED had filed a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after going through a CBI FIR registered early this month. It is understood that the ED also went through the PNB complaint that was made out against Modi and others.
Nirav Modi Flees India
Government sources on Thursday, 15 February told CNN-News18 that Nirav Modi, the main accused in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) Rs 11,300 crore scam, has left India.
Twitter was abuzz with news of Modi fleeing before any action could be taken against him.
Activist Tehseen Poonawalla claimed that Modi was informed of the trouble brewing beforehand, and so he fled the country before the FIR was filed.
Modi reportedly fled the country by the end of January – before the CBI lodged an FIR against him on 31 January. Some reports suggested that he is in Davos, others said he was he in New York City.
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.