Indian investigators grill bank boss in fraud probe


Indian investigators grill bank boss in fraud probe

The CBI on Tuesday arrested the Vice President (Banking Operations) of Gitanjali Group, Vipul Chitalia, in connection with the PNB loan fraud case.

Clarifying the need for summoning the bank chiefs, the official said there were discrepancies in the declarations made by the company to different banks.

By then, it was too late to ground Nirav Modi who had left the country on January 1.

ICICI Bank said in a statement that it has no exposure to the Nirav Modi group of companies but noted, "We are working capital lenders to the Gitanjali group of companies along with several other banks in the consortium".

On March 3, an anti-money laundering court in Mumbai issued non-bailable warrants against the absconding diamantaires Modi and Choksi.

So far, these agencies have arrested a total of 19 persons in connection with the scam.

Issuing a notice to the investigating authority, the Delhi High Court observed that it is not clear under what authority the ED went to search the properties.

Advocate Vijay Aggrawal, appearing for the firm, has sought quashing of the ED action of taking away the movable property and depositing the same with the PNB bank.

The petition also sought framing of guidelines for conducting search and seizure by the ED, including on the aspect of whether the victim can be permitted to be a part of search and seizure itself, in order to ensure fair and transparent functioning of the ED. The second FIR relates to the issuance of LoUs and foreign letters of credit to firms owned by Mehul Choksi, Modi's maternal uncle.

The court will hear the plea March 7.

"Fraud, malfeasance, bank loot, cheating and swindling of banks and common people are getting unraveled every day, as the prime minister and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley are on an indefinite "maun vrat" (vow of silence)", he said. "His popularity is no good for the country if he is unable to bring back to the country the people behind these huge bank scams", Azad said.

Though Nirav Modi (R) has not yet been arrested, India's External Affairs Ministry has revoked his passport as well as his uncle Mehul Choksi (L) for their involvement in the scam.

"Most of these documents are not yet recovered".

He said, "We have a situation, but Modi ji is silent on it".



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