Mumbai: A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Mumbai on Sunday issued a non-bailable warrant against diamond jeweller Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi in connection with the multi-million Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud.
Both Modi and Choksi are accused of making fraudulent transactions worth over Rs 13,000 crore through fake letters of undertaking (LoUs) issued on behalf of PNB bank. Earlier on April 5, India had submitted a request to Hong Kong government for provisional arrest of Nirav Modi.
The government claimed that he was residing in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, the Punjab National Bank MD Sunil Mehta has said that the bank will be out of the “problem and pain” caused by Nirav Modi fraud case in six months. “So worst is behind us.
In February 2018, it had emerged that the fraudulently issued Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) from the Mumbai branch of PNB in favour of Hong Kong branches of Allahabad Bank and Axis Bank. These letters helped facilitate Rs 280.7 crore fraud by jewellery designer Nirav Modi among others.
As per the FIR lodged with the CBI, Shetty and Kharat had transmitted SWIFT instructions to the above-mentioned banks for raising buyers credit and for funding the Nostro accounts of PNB, without due procedure. The LoUs were issued on behalf of Diamond R US, Solar Exports, Stellar Diamonds.
Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi – who are at the heart of the scam – are, meanwhile, absconding. A case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Modi and other accused has been registered soon after the scam came under the light.
On Friday, the CBI which is probing the alleged Rs 13,000-crore PNB fraud had questioned a former Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank, H R Khan, in connection with alleged bank fraud cases involving diamond traders Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi and relaxation of gold import policy by the erstwhile UPA government.