CBI Seeks Interpol’s Help In Arresting Nirav Modi
The CBI has asked the Interpol for help in arresting fraudster jeweler Nirav Modi and his family that is involved in the largest bank fraud involving crores in India. The Punjab National Bank in its FIR has accused Nirav and his family members of conniving with bank officials to obtain large loans without guarantees that may cost the exchequer Rs. 11,300 crores. While the passport of Nirav Modi and his associate Mehul Choksi have been revoked and is likely to be cancelled if they do not respond within 4 weeks.
Raids by investigators at Nirav’s residences and stores across India have led to seizure of assets worth Rs. 5,600 crores in the form of diamonds and gold jewelry. The agency filed a fresh case against Mehul Choksi and his Gitanjali group of companies alleging fraud of Rs. 4,911.43 crores. According to the report, Nirav Modi has been traced to a hotel in New York from where he apparently stayed after his Davos visit. The agency has put out a lookout notice against the four accused in the first week of February. The case has led to political sparring with the opposition parties accusing the ruling party of allowing the accused to escape.
The fraud came to light when a few firms that are part of Nirav Modi’s group made a request to PNB for buyers’ credit by presenting a set of import documents. When the branch officials asked them for collateral to extend the loan, the employees argued that in the past, they had been granted such facilities without any guarantees. This statement alerted the bank employees and they were shocked to find that there were no traces of such transactions in past records. Further investigations revealed that previous employees of the Mumbai branch had abused their authority by using their access to the bank’s system to clear LoU’s without entering the details in the bank’s internal system.