PNB Scam: ED to seek transit remand of key Choksi aide arrested in Kolkata

Deepak Kulkarni was the director of Choksi’s dummy firm in Hong Kong and a Look Out Circular was issued against him by ED and CBI earlier.

PNB Scam: ED to seek transit remand of key Choksi aide arrested in Kolkata

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is expected to seek the transit remand of Deepak Kulkarni, a close associate of PNB scam accused Mehul Choksi to take him to Mumbai, following his arrest from Kolkata airport late on Monday. Kulkarni, who was arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), is expected to be produced before the court on Tuesday.

He was arrested immediately after he landed at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport from Hong Kong last night.

Kulkarni was the director of Choksi’s dummy firm in Hong Kong and a Look Out Circular was issued against him by the ED and the CBI earlier.

Choksi, along with diamantaire Nirav Modi, is the prime accused in the USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam. While Choksi is currently in Antigua, Modi has shifted several locations from New York, to London and Hong Kong.

The scam pertains to the alleged issuance of fraudulent Letters of Undertaking of more than USD 2 billion to companies of Nirav Modi and Choksi by Punjab National Bank's Brady House branch during 2011-17.

A LoU is a guarantee given by an issuing bank to Indian banks with branches abroad to grant short-term credit to the applicant.

Nirav Modi and his companies allegedly availed credit from the overseas branches of Indian banks using the fraudulent PNB guarantees given through LoUs and letters of credit issued by the Brady House branch which were not repaid, bringing the liability on the state-run bank.

Both Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi have refused to join investigation in spite of repeated summons by the agencies to appear for questioning.

Choksi had earlier cited threat to his life, health condition, media bias and poor jail conditions in his appeal before the Interpol to stall issuance of the Red Corner Notice against him.

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