LoUs worth Rs 25,000 crore were fraudulently issued: Audit

Mumbai: Punjab National Bank (PNB) 'fraudulently issued' Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) worth Rs 25,000 crore to the Nirav Modi group, a leading English newspaper reported.

According to Belgian auditor BDO, commissioned by PNB in February 2018, days after it complained to the CBI, looked at information supplied until June 2018 and found that a total of 1,561 Letters of Undertaking (LoUs), valued at Rs 28,000 crore, were issued by PNB to the Nirav Modi group. Of this, 1,381 LoUs worth Rs 25,000 crore were fraudulently issued.

BDO also found that 21 of 23 exporters in whose names the LoUs had been issued were “controlled” by Nirav Modi and subsequently, 193 LoUs of the value of Rs 6,000 crore were “mis-utilized’’ for making payments to the bank.

Absconding diamantaire Nirav Modi is the prime accused in the PNB fraud, which was first revealed in February last year.

A whistleblower gave the 329-page report to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which has partnered with the daily newspaper for a series of reports on the findings.

Around 21 of the 23 exporters to whom LoUs were issued are controlled by Modi. 193 LoUs, valued at Rs 6,000 crore, were 'mis-utilised' to make payments to the bank.

BDO’s audit indicates the full extent of the fraud, and has gone beyond the work done by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

The auditor has also prepared a list of assets owned by Modi and members of his family. The audit team found 20 properties listed as 'non-charged', indicating that they were never used as security for the transaction.

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