Sebi launches probe into trading, disclosure issues at PNB, Gitanjali Gems

The Sebi and stock exchanges have begun analysing the stock market trade details of all entities associated with Nirav Modi including Mehul Choksi.

Sebi launches probe into trading, disclosure issues at PNB, Gitanjali Gems
Photo: Reuters

New Delhi: Markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has launched a probe into trading and disclosure related issues in the matter of Punjab National Bank (PNB) and Gitanjali Gems in connection with over Rs 11,000 crore banking fraud allegedly perpetrated by absconding Nirav Modi.

“Sebi accords utmost importance to market conduct and integrity. Anyone found violating the securities laws will be dealt with firmly”, a regulatory official said.

Incidentally, in July 2013, NSE in consultation with Sebi had debarred Gitanjali Gems chief and main promoter Mehul Choksi among others from trading, for securities market violations relating to trading in his company.

The Sebi and stock exchanges have begun analysing the stock market trade details of all entities associated with Nirav Modi including Choksi, who has already been under the scanner for various cases including a brokerage default incident.

The regulator and the exchanges are also probing Choksi and his listed entity Gitanjali Gems for disclosure lapses, including for postponement of a board meeting earlier this week without disclosing sufficient reasons.

Choksi was not immediately available for comments and his phone was found to be switched off. Gitanjali Gems shares continued to slump with a plunge of 20 percent today. This is the third straight session of decline for the stock.

The stock market dealings of billionaire jeweller Modi his relative and close associate Choksi came under the scanner of Sebi and stock exchanges following PNB's declaration of over Rs 11,000-crore fraud.

Apart from Sebi and exchanges, they are being probed by CBI and Enforcement Directorate among other agencies.

The state-owned bank said it had detected the fraud in which Nirav Modi allegedly acquired fraudulent letters of undertaking (LoUs) from one its branches for overseas credit from other Indian lenders.

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