PNB scam: CBI initiates probe against Gitanjali Group

A Delhi high court bench was hearing Firestar Diamonds’ plea seeking a stay on the seizure of its property in connection with the probe in the Rs12,700 crore PNB fraud

Meanwhile, the income-tax department is reportedly set to initiate proceedings against jeweller Nirav Modi, wanted in the Rs 14,000-crore PNB fraud, under the black money law tat provides for imprisonment of upto to seven years for not disclosing foreign assets.

Nirav Modi is accused of illegally obtaining LoUs from the Punjab National Bank to avail loans from lenders overseas and then defaulted on them. They were summoned to join the investigations at the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)'s Bandra-based office.

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As per the Om Prakash assertion, the agency believed that the money with the United Kingdom bank was proceeds of crime.

Limosin on Wednesday moved an application before judge Sardar Tamboli, and argued that the agency had issued three summons to Choksi at his residential address, asking him to appear before the agency and join the investigation. A judicial request, also known as a Letter Rogatory, is issued by courts on the request of an investigating agency when it wants information from another country.

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A fraud of around $2.2 billion took place in PNB, the second largest in public sector, by diamond trader Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi. The CBI court had last week issued a non-bailable warrant against Nirav Modi. Several bank employees have been booked for collusion in the case. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is also conducting an independent probe. In case of default, the bank issuing the LoU has to pay the liability to the credit-giving bank, along with interest. They were frozen on India's request in view of the Punjab National Bank fraud cases.

The PNB officials allegedly sent these messages to Indian banks - Canara Bank, State Bank of India, Bank of India, Axis Bank, Allahabad Bank - located in Antwerp, Hong Kong, Bahrain, Mauritius, Frankfurt without making entries in the banking software about the LoUs.

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Geng Shuang, the spokesman of Chinese Foreign Ministry said in Beijing on Monday, "According to the one country, two systems (policy) and basic law of the HKSAR (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region), under the assistance and authorisation of the Central government, the HKSAR can make arrangements on judicial mutual assistance with other countries".

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