Vipul Ambani, a senior official in Nirav Modi firm, arrested by CBI

Andrew Cummings
February 22, 2018

"We assure you that in your bank, it is business as usual", state-owned Punjab National Bank said in a tweet.

On Tuesday, the CBI arrested Vipul Ambani, the son of Dhirubhai Ambani's younger brother Natubhai Ambani and four other officials from Gitanjali Group and M/s Diamond R United States, M/s Stellar Diamond and M/s.

The arrest came a day after the agency grilled Ambani in connection to the Rs 11,400 crore financial scandal involving the Punjab National Bank (PNB).

The Government of India Wednesday opposed in the Supreme Court a PIL seeking an independent probe and deportation of billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi in the over Rs 11,000 crore PNB fraud case, saying an FIR has been lodged and a probe was on. Officers said he was in touch with all the bank officials at PNB's branch in Brady House and also with officials in the zonal, circle and head offices.

India's federal police have arrested six people, including employees of a billionaire jeweller, as an inquiry into one of the country's biggest bank scams widens, investigators said Wednesday.

It said the exposure to the gem & jewellery sector and also foreign exchange dealings are reported to the board, which has representatives of both the RBI as well as government. However, in the process the transactions went undetected as they had bypassed the core banking solutions.

Security agencies have been cracking down on the properties of Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, but have been clueless about their whereabouts ever since the scam unfolded.

Five PNB officials have so far been arrested, including the two at a Mumbai branch where the alleged fraud originated who appeared in court at the weekend and were ordered to be detained until March 3.

Jindal is the 12th accused to be arrested in the case so far.

In the wake of the alleged loan fraud at the Punjab National Bank (PNB), the Finance Ministry has noted that the supervision and inspection framework of the Reserve Bank of India may either be "inadequate" or is not being "effectively implemented", sources said.

Meanwhile, the PNB filed a second complaint with the CBI on February 13.

It said that Choksi's Geetanjali Company and its subsidiaries, led by Choksi dealt, with 32 banks.

On Vipul Ambani's role, the CBI's remand application said, "He, being the Head of the Finance Department of the aforesaid companies of Nirav Modi group, from May 2013 to November 2017 and thereafter President (Investor Relations and Corporate Affairs) was fully aware of the fraudulent and illegal LoUs which were being issued by Gokulnath Shetty, Retd Dy". His jewelry has been worn by actresses and celebrities, including Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, while Priyanka Chopra is its brand ambassador in India.

In its statement it said that it "has already undertaken a supervisory assessment of control systems in PNB and will take appropriate supervisory action". "(This was being done) in conspiracy and (under the) guidance of Nirav Modi and other employees of his firm", a senior CBI official told IANS in New Delhi. Stores and facilities of Nirav Modi's company across the country have been raided to find evidence in the case.

Other reports by iNewsToday