Will be out of Nirav Modi mess in 6 months: PNB MD

How the rich and the famous parked black money in Nirav Modi firms

The worst is over for Punjab National Bank (PNB), and it will come out of the mess created by the Nirav Modi fraud case in six months, the state-run lender's MD Sunil Mehta said on Sunday.

The CBI special court in Mumbai has approved the application for issue of a non-bailable warrant against Choksi and Modi after the duo failed to respond to the agency's three summons in the last two months. Even while they were underway, 143 fraudulent LoUs were issued from PNB to the Hong Kong based branches of Allahabad and Axis banks to release Rs 11,400 crore.

On Feb 14, the CBI received complaints from PNB, which detected a Rs 11,292 crore fraud involving Modi. "In the case ED suspects involvement of as many 40 shell structures", said one of the two people cited above. At least 13 trading houses, including fugitive diamond merchant Mehul Choksi's Gitanjali Gems Limited, benefited under the modified scheme.

After questioning the PNB top brass, the agency has now shifted its focus to the policies which could have been exploited by Modi and Choksi to further their alleged cheating.

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Earlier on April 5, India had submitted a request to Hong Kong government for provisional arrest of Nirav Modi.

The CBI has also questioned several bank officials who had arranged credit for Mr Modi and Mr Choksi on the basis of forged Letters of Undertaking issued by the PNB's Brady House branch in Mumbai.

"The agency has observed the involvement of shell companies; that is why the examination of other banks has become necessary", said a CBI official. "We have just engaged lawyers to represent our bank in the U.S. bankruptcy petition as part of recovery process".

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