CBI quizzes top PNB officials

The controversy has struck the BJP at a time when it has suffered an electoral loss in Rajasthan and West Bengal

Besides this, a consortium of 31 banks led by ICICI Bank has loaned close to Rs 5,200 crore to Mehul Chokshi's Gitanjali Group.

Modi, who had a chain of boutique stores from NY to Beijing, and his uncle Mehul Choksi are both accused of perpetrating the biggest loan fraud in Indian banking history and are both out of the country. We want to see on what basis these loans were granted and whether these are still recoverable. The Punjab National Bank in its FIR has accused Nirav and his family members of conniving with bank officials to obtain large loans without guarantees that may cost the exchequer Rs. 11,300 crores.

They said the examination was focussed on understanding how the crime was detected by the bank and other procedural issues and their violations.

The agency's action on Saturday is the first attempt to attach immovable properties of beleaguered diamantaire.

Two days ago, in an emailed reply to the ED's investigating officer, Nirav Modi cited the temporary suspension of his passport and pending business issues as reasons for his non-appearance before the probe agency. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) is said to have also moved the NCLT for the attachment of assets belonging to Modi's wife Ami Modi, and brother Neeshal.

Investigators have so far arrested 12 people, including high-ranking bank officials, for their alleged involvement in the fraud.

A senior branch manager at PNB's Barmer branch in Rajasthan "dishonestly and fraudulently sanctioned and disbursed 26 Mudra loans" between September 2016 and March 2017, causing a loss of Rs 6.2 million to the public sector bank, the CBI has alleged in a case filed on Wednesday.

Many Indian banks, including PNB, have not linked their core banking system with the Swift network, which is widely used by global banks to communicate with each other on transactions. Rajesh Jindal was the head of the Brady House, Mumbai, from 2009 till 20011.

Choksi, in a communication to over 3,500 employees, said it would be "very tough" to clear dues of his employees or pay future salaries, as investigative agencies had seized his bank accounts and other properties, adding that the manner of investigation was starting to create havoc, and were hell bent on stopping the operations. The fraud revelation that started from Rs 280 crore has reached over Rs 11,400 crore and could reach over Rs 20,000 crore as the agency officials warn of many more skeletons in the closet.

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