The CBI on Saturday arrested two officials of Punjab National Bank (PNB) in Nirav Modi fraudulent transaction case. The two also included recently retired PNB deputy manager Gokulnath Shetty. Besides, an authorised signatory of billionaire Nirav Modi’s company in connection with alleged fraudulent transactions of Rs 11,400 crore, too was arrested.
Gokulnath Shetty, then deputy manager (now retired), and other employee Manoj Kharat, a single window operator of PNB, were placed under arrest early today after they were detained and questioned.
Hemant Bhat, , an authorised signatory of billionaire Nirav Modi’s company, too was taken into custody by the agency in connection with its FIR registered on January 31 against Modi, his companies and uncle Mehul Choski, they said.
The FIR has listed eight fraudulent transactions worth over Rs 280 crore but based on further complaints from the bank the CBI now says the amount investigated in the first FIR is over Rs 6,498 crore, involving 150 Letters of Understanding allegedly fraudulently issued by Shetty and Kharat.
The remaining 150 fraudulent LOUs worth over Rs 4,886 crore issued for Gitanjali group of companies are part of the second FIR registered yesterday by the agency against Choksi and his companies Gitanjali Gems, Nakshatra Brands and Gili, they said.
All these LOUs were issued or renewed during 2017-18, the officials said.
On Friday, the CBI approached the Interpol to locate Nirav Modi and his family who had left Indian shores in the first week of January, weeks before scam was reported to the agency. Officials said the CBI approached the Interpol with a request for issuing Diffusion Notice which was aimed at locating an individual.
The Enforcement Directorate also issued summons for appearance to Nirav Modi and his business partner Mehul Choksi, even as Ministry of External Affairs suspended his passport for four weeks with immediate effect.
Modi, who was alleged to have carried out fraudulent transactions worth over Rs 11,400 crore in Punjab National Bank, had left the country in the first week.of January. The 46-year old, who holds an Indian passport, left India on January 1, while his brother Nishal, a Belgian citizen, departed from the country on same day.