Trouble mounts for Allahabad Bank CEO after CBI chargesheet in PNB scam

Trouble mounts for Allahabad Bank CEO after CBI chargesheet in PNB scam

The government said it has initiated action for removal of Allahabad Bank chief executive officer and two executive directors of Punjab National Bank after Central Bureau of Investigation filed chargesheet against them in connection to fraud at PNB involving diamond trader Nirav Modi. The voluminous chargesheet names 25 accused including Usha Ananthasubramanian, MD & CEO of Allahabad Bank, two Executive Directors of PNB, Brahmaji Rao and Sanjeev Saran and its General Manager Nehal Ahad and Modi's three firms - Stellar Diamonds, Solar Exports and Diamond R' US.

Meanwhile, RBI advised Allahabad Bank to restrict expansion of risk-weight assets and to reduce exposure to un-rated and high-risk loans after it reported Rs 3510 crore net loss in the fourth quarter, largely owing to the exposure it had on the PNB-Nirav Modi fraud. Before PNB filed the complaint with the CBI, both Modi and Choksi had left the country. The second and third FIRs focus on Choksi, Gitanjali Gems and others.

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Centre is taking steps to oust three bank executives, its banking secretary said on Monday, after police issued a list of people accused in the country's largest-ever bank fraud case. The chargesheet detailed the alleged role of PNB's former chief Ananthasubramanian in the scam.

Seven employees of Modi's group of companies - Hemant Bhat, an authorised signatory; Vipul Ambani, President (Finance) of Firestar International; Miten Pandya, then Finance Manager of Firestar; Manish Bosamiya, former AGM of Firestar; Subhash Parab, key Executive (currently absconding); and Arjun Patil and Kavita Mankikar - were also named in the chargesheet.

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The 47-year-old's high-end eponymous Nirav Modi brand has stores in several of the world's major cities. It said top honchos of Punjab National Bank (PNB) "misrepresented" the factual position on letters of understanding (LoUs) to the RBI and ignored its warnings when credit facilities worth over $2 billion were fraudulently cleared by its branch in Mumbai. Ananthasubramanian was the CEO of the PNB at that point in time, said the CBI.

Ananthasubramanian was the MD and CEO of PNB from 2015 to 2017 - a period mired in controversy because of the scam- and was questioned recently by the CBI in connection with the case.

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