Published: Thu, February 22, 2018
Business | By Max Garcia

CBI arrests general manager of PNB who headed Brady House branch

CBI arrests general manager of PNB who headed Brady House branch

"It has a swimming pool, library, gym and other luxuries".

Until now, fifty employees from Punjab National Bank and executives from Gitanjali group have been called for questioning so far by the CBI at the Bandra-Kurla complex office in the Punjab National Bank scam worth Rs.11400 crore.

Unlike Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya, the PNB, which is India's second largest public-sector bank, also had famous personalities and their families as customers who have honoured their loans.

The arrested individuals include Vipul Ambani, President, Finance Firestar International, Kavita Mankikar, Executive Assistant and Authorised Signatory and Arjun Patil, Senior Executive, Firestar group, a CBI official confirmed. Those arrested in connection with Choksi's firms are Nakshatra group and Gitanjali group CFO Kapil Khandelwal and Gitanjali group manager Niten Shahi.

Besides these, the CBI earlier named 10 other directors and officials as accused in the scam which has created a nationwide furore.

"We have arrested five people connected to both Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi's companies, and they will be produced in CBI court today", CBI spokesman Abhishek Dayal told AFP. They were unable to explain before the investigators the way Modi managed to get LoUs and Foreign Letters of Credit from the PNB.

Referring to the companies he own, Modi said in the letter: "The erroneously cited liability resulted in a media frenzy which led to immediate search and seizure of operations, and which in turn resulted in Firestar International and Firestar Diamond International effectively ceasing to be going-concerns". The 1.5-acre farmhouse in the ultra-rich neighbourhood at a stone's throw from the Arabian Sea was purchased by Modi in 2004 for Rs 32 crores for hosting special parties for his clientele to showcase his precious jewellery collection, CBI sources said. According to sources, the modus operandi and the role of three top Modi's employees into the scam has not yet been established by the CBI following which the agency sought 14 days remand. It is also expected to attach about three dozen properties in this case under PMLA.

"These documents and circumstances prove his knowledge of fraudulent application for LOUs", the official said. It also obtained information from the whistleblower in the case who had said he had raised flags against Choksis' loan in 2013.

The IT department, in a appraisal report past year had also flagged several suspected irregularities on the part of the Modi group of companies.

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