CBI arrests PNB GM, seals Nirav's Mumbai farmhouse

Andrew Cummings
February 22, 2018

In this case, the agency is investigating 150 letters of undertaking issued to Nirav Modi's companies that let them obtain short-term credit from overseas branches of other Indian banks worth Rs 6,498 crore.

Before Kavita Mankikar, the CBI had earlier arrested Hemant Bhatt, who was also one of the authorised signatories of the Nirav Modi Group.

It has also surfaced, that the prime accused in the case, Gokulnath Shetty, who retired as the deputy manager with Mumbai's Brady House branch was transferred thrice but managed to get extensions on each occasion.

Modi in his letter to PNB requested the bank to allow him to sell his Firestar group and other three firms which value around Rs. 6500 crore so, that he could repay the debt at some extent.

Shares of Gitanjali Gems on Tuesday tanked for the fifth straight trade session, a day after two senior officials of the company - Chandrakant Karkare and Pankhuri Warange - resigned following the unravelling of $1.8-billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud.

A police complaint filed by the bank says companies linked to the jeweller and his relatives received credit worth close to US$1.8 billion between 2011 and 2017, using false guarantees supplied by two PNB officials.

ED seizes 9 cars including Rolls Royce Ghost, Porsche Panamera, 2 Mercedes Benz, 3 Honda, 1Toyota Fortuner & an Innova of Nirav Modi & his companies.

Keeping this in mind, the Department of Financial Services would soon call a meeting of top officials of all the banks involved in the matter, sources added.

Mr Jaitley is the highest-ranking government official to so far weigh in on the case, in which bank employees are suspected to have steered fraudulent loans to businesses tied to Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi. "At no stage such facilities were extended by our bank to your three partner firms", PTI quoted sources citing mail response sent by PNB General Manager (international banking division) Ashwini Vats to Nirav Modi. The agency said it is also carrying out an "independent valuation" of these seized assets. The expansive farmhouse, located about 100 km by road from Mumbai in Maharashtra's Raigad district, also has a 12,000 sq ft bungalow with five bedrooms, a large swimming pool, a movie theatre and a library, they said. Modi valued his dues and said this is all around Rs 6,500 crore.

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