PNB fraud: CBI detains Gitanjali Group's vice-president Vipul Chitalia

PNB fraud: CBI detains Gitanjali Group's vice-president Vipul Chitalia

PNB fraud: CBI detains Gitanjali Group's vice-president Vipul Chitalia

March 05 (ANI): Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday blamed Congress over Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case and said the matter of diamond merchant Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi is connected to the grand old party.

While Kochhar and Sharma did not appear in person before the SFIO, both banks sent their representatives.

Yesterday, officials from Axis Bank and ICICI Bank had also appeared before SFIO, which is the investigating arm of the ministry of corporate affairs.

Senior officials from other banks would also be questioned in the coming days as the agency has issued summons to a total of thirty one banks that were part of a consortium, which advanced over Rs 5,000 crore as working capital loans to Mr Choksi promoted Gitanjali gems.

"SFIO has today sought information on the accounts of the Nirav Modi & Gitanjali groups of companies", Axis Bank said in a statement to the stock exchanges.

"PNB has apprised that as per its preliminary investigation, unauthorised letters of undertaking were being issued from 10.3.2011 and the matter was detected when the bank was approached on 16.1.2018 with a request to allow buyers' credit for making payment to overseas suppliers". "The bank is not the leader of the lending consortium in these groups".

"The Prime Minister's Office, RBI, Serious Fraud Information Office (SFIO) and the Enforcement Directorate received complaints".

Clarifying the need for summoning the bank chiefs, the official said there were discrepancies in the declarations made by the company to different banks. According to the CBI, Chitalia was instrumental in preparing the applications for putting through the fraudulent transactions of alleged Letters of Understanding (LoUs) and Foreign Letters of Credit (FLC) with the active connivance of Shetty and other accused. For FIL, the lead bank was PNB and for FDIPL it was Union Bank. The bank's NPAs grew to Rs. 27,402 crore in the July-September quarter of 2017-18, a massive increase compared to Rs. 4,451 crore two years ago.

With the widening of the probe, observers are expecting that even more instances of fraud by Indian corporates would come to light in the coming days.

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