Bank taking action against employees involved in $1.77 bn fraud: PNB Chairman

PNB has suspended 10 officers over the scam and referred the matter to CBI for investigation.

Bank taking action against employees involved in $1.77 bn fraud: PNB Chairman
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New Delhi: A day after high-level fraudulent practice to the tune of $1.8 billion in one of the Punjab National Bank`s Mumbai branch was reported to the stock exchange, Sunil Mehta, MD and CEO said it "will not spare anyone" involved in the wrongdoing.

The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday launched a nationwide raid on the offices, showrooms and workshops of billionaire diamond trader Nirav Modi. ED teams carried out simultaneous raids on Modi`s in Mumbai, Surat (Gujarat) and New Delhi.

"We are known for clean banking. The fraud started in 2011. We have brought it under the notice of regulatory and law enforcement agencies as soon as we came to know about it. We will not spare anyone invoved in the fraudulent practice," Mehta told reporters here in hurriedly called press meet.

The PNB chief said the fraud was detected on January 25th and was reported to the investigative agencies, including the Central Bureau of Investigation on January 29th.

He said he had received a "vague email" from the customers involved in the fraudulent transaction about settling the dues and the bank had asked them to send their detailed response. He said the transactions were detected in only one branch and no other branches were involved.

As for other banks, he said overseas branches of other Indian banks were affected by the transactions, except in one case. His answer was in response to a question whether any foreign bank branch was also affected.

The PNB chief said the finance ministry was taking stock of the matter on a day-to-day basis.

"We have the capabilities and capacities to come out of the situation," he said.

"We have not only lodged the comnplaint against the culprits, we have also lodged complaint against our staff who were involved in the matter," Mehta said.

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