Mumbai: In a major development to the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case, eight employees of the bank have been suspended on Friday. The number of suspended employees now stands at 18, which also includes General Manager level officers. Internal investigation of the bank is still underway.
Earlier in the day, the Interpol had issued diffusion notice against billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, his wife Ami Modi, brother Nishal Modi and his business partner and uncle Mehul Choksi. A diffusion notice is less formal than a notice. It is used to request the arrest or location of individual or additional information in relation to a police investigation.
After almost 24 hours, raids continued at Nirav Modi‘s boutique in Kala Ghoda in Mumbai. It is alleged that Modi and his associate companies fraudulently acquired PNB guarantees worth USD 1.7 billion that they later used to obtain overseas loans.
The CBI has sought revocation of the passports of billionaire jewellery designer Nirav Modi and his partner Mehul Choksi, who are the main accused in alleged fraudulent transactions of over Rs. 11,400 crore through 150 letters of understanding issued by the Punjab National Bank, officials said. Yesterday, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) wrote to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) seeking revocation of passports of Nirav Modi in connection with the PNB fraud case.
Besides Nirav Modi, the agency also asked to revoke the passport of his wife Ami Modi and his relative Mehul Choksi. Yesterday, the agency also conducted searches at 17 premises of Nirav Modi and Geetanjali Gems across India in connection with the same case. The probe agency also seized stocks of gold, diamond and other precious stones worth Rs 5100 crore.
The PNB detected a 1.77 billion dollar scam in which jeweller Nirav Modi acquired fraudulent letters of undertaking from one of its branches for overseas credit from other Indian lenders. The scam was started in 2011 and was detected in the third week of January this year, after which the PNB officials reported it to the concerned agencies.