New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has started questioning of senior officers of other Indian banks whose overseas branches were involved in issuing buyer credit for Letter of Undertakings (LoUs) issued through state-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB).
In the last two days, CBI has questioned officers of GM and DGM rank of these banks who were in-charge of international operation and treasury.
So far 5 officers of Bank of India, Allahabad Bank and Axis bank been questioned.
On February 14, PNB informed the regulator about a fraud to the tune of Rs 11,400 crore involving billionaire diamantaire Nirav Modi, his family and uncle Mehul Choksi, promoter of Gitanjali Gems.
The fraud amount after further probe by the bank now stands at nearly Rs 13,000 crore.
The Modi-Choksi duo managed to generate fake LoUs in connivance with a few bank officials and presented the same to other Indian bank branches overseas to avail credit facilities outside India.
As many as 30 odd banks are affected due to this fraud including SBI, Union Bank, Allahabad Bank, ICICI Bank, among others.
As a fallout of the fraud, touted as the biggest in the Indian banking history, Reserve Bank asked lenders last month to discontinue issuance of Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) and Letters of Comfort (LoCs) for trade credits.
Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, owner of Gitanjali Gems Ltd, left India in January before the fraud came to light, but have said in letters and statements they are innocent.
Modi, Choksi and others are being investigated by multiple probe agencies after the PNB scam came to light. The Enforcement Directorate has registered the money laundering case against Nirav Modi, his firms and others on the basis of a CBI first information report.
With Agencies Inputs