Free Press Journal

Punjab National Bank detects fraudulent transactions worth $1.77 billion at its Mumbai branch; full details


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In a major financial transaction shake up, state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB) said on Wednesday it had detected some “fraudulent and unauthorised” transactions worth about $1.77 billion at one of its branches in Mumbai.

In a communique to the Bombay Stock Exchange, the bank said the transactions were “for the benefit of a few select account holders with their apparent connivance” and that “based on these transactions other banks appear to have advanced money to these customers abroad,” reported Reuters.

PNB is the country’s second-biggest state-run lender and fourth-biggest overall by assets, did not name the people involved but said it had reported the deals to law enforcement agencies and would evaluate later whether it faces any charges related to it from transactions.

“In the bank these transactions are contingent in nature and liability arising out of these on the bank shall be decided based on the law and genuineness of underlying transactions,” PNB said, without giving further details. PNB shares were trading 4.1% lower by 10 am, having fallen as much as 5.7% in early trading on Wednesday in report of the latest findings.

Last week, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said they had launched an investigation into billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, one of the country’s richest men, over accusations that he and others defrauded PNB of $44 million in various dealings. It was not immediately known if the latest disclosure on fraudulent transactions was related to or separate from the previous incident. Four top PNB executives contacted by Reuters did not immediately respond requests seeking comment beyond the stock exchange filing.