Mehul Choksi Firms Siphoned Off Over Rs 6,000 Crore From Punjab National Bank: CBI


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Mehul Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are alleged to have laundered more than Rs 13,000 crore. File

In its supplementary chargesheet, the CBI has alleged that the companies owned by fugitive Diamantier Mehul Choksi used fake letters from Punjab National Bank (PNB) and letters of foreign credit to exceed Rs 344.96 crore.

The CBI probe submitted the information in a supplementary chargesheet filed in a special court in Mumbai last week, alleging that the PNB had handed over gloves to Mr Choksi and his agency officials and had sent him to facilitate the scandal. Part of a criminal conspiracy.

PNB officials at the Bank’s Brady House branch in Mumbai issued 155 Affidavits (LOUs) and 58 Foreign Credit Certificates (FLCs) during March-April 2011, against 311 bill rebates.

These LUs and FLCs were issued to Mr. Choksi’s companies without any authorized restriction or cash margin and without any investigation into any default case in the central banking system of the bank.

LoUs are a guarantee given by a bank to a foreign bank on behalf of its client. If the client does not pay the loan to the foreign bank, the liability falls on the guarantor’s bank.

Based on these LoUs, SBI-Mauritius, Allahabad Bank-Hong Kong, Axis Bank-Hong Kong, Bank of India-Antwerp, Canara Bank-Mamana and SBI-Frankfurt have lent.

“Since the accused companies have not paid the amount received against the fraudulent LoUs and FLCs mentioned, PNB has paid ue, Rs. 3444.97 crore (9 965.18 million) to foreign banks which were the buyer’s forerunners and” supplementary chargesheet alleges: ” Fraud has led to bill exemptions against LOUs and FLCs.

According to the CBI, more than Rs 3,154.31 crore and 311 bills of Rs 3,086.2.24 against 56 FLCs remain.

PNB had filed a case against Mr. Choksi alleging theft of Rs. 060 crore. CBI officials said the matter was still under investigation and the final figures of the bank’s losses could be determined only after examining all the LUs.

The CBI continues to investigate fraudulent amendments to LoUs and 2014 FLCs issued in 2015 and 2016, by bank officials in 2014 and 2015.

In addition to the 16 accused named in the first chargesheet, the agency named four accused in its supplementary report, Sunil Verma, former international head of Gitanjali Group of Companies, two PNB officials – single window operator Sagar Sawant and AGM Sanjay Prasad – and Gili and Nakshatra Brands under the group. Dhanesh Seth.

The supplementary indictment, filed more than three years after the first indictment in the case, coincides with the legal trial of Mr. Choksi in a Dominican court, where he was arrested on May 24 for “illegal entry” after mysteriously disappearing from neighboring Antigua and Barbuda.

“Three years later, this supplementary chargesheet shows that the defense in the first indictment indicated that it was merely an attempt to cover up the irregularity. And the allegations were made long before the FIR, ”said Vijay Agarwal, Mr Choksi’s lawyer.

A few weeks before the scandal broke, Mr Choksi had been living in Antigua and Barbuda since 2013, when he fled India in the first week of January this year.

He and his nephew, Nirav Modi, have alleged that they have laundered more than Rs 13,000 crore from PNB using LNOs and FLCs by bribing officials of the bank’s Brady House branch.

The agency, in its supplementary chargesheet, alleges criminal conspiracy, fraud, breach of trust, disappearance of evidence, forgery of accounts, bribery and criminal misconduct by a government employee.

The CBI investigation found that the accused PNB officer Gokulnath Sethi conspired with Mr. Choksi to issue 165 LUs (113) LOIs from PNB’s Brady House branch between March 1 and April 29, 2013 on behalf of Gitanjali Ratna in an “unauthorized” manner. Ltd. (35 LOUs) and Nakshatra Brands (1 LOU) – all the accused companies.

The purpose of the trade transaction was to purchase freshwater pearls from Hong Kong-based Shaniao Gong Si Limited and 4CS Diamond Distributors.

The CBI has found evidence that the accused companies took credit of Rs 3,011.36 crore from 142 buyers and did not pay “intentionally” on the due date, resulting in losses to the bank and profit to their own liking.

It has been alleged that Mr Choksi and Mr Modi used the process to get credit from foreign banks, which was not repaid, bringing more than Rs 13,000 crore in liabilities to PNB.

The investigation further revealed that the fraud took place despite a notification issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which was known to senior PNB officials.

Furthermore, PNB officials did not implement the notices and warning notices issued by the RBI regarding the conduct of SWITE (International Banking Messaging System) activities and instead, in fact presented the situation to the RBI, the agency complained.

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from the Syndicate feed))

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