MUMBAI: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday is questioning two top officials of Punjab National Bank (PNB) in connection with the alleged multi-million fraud involving celebrity jeweller Nirav Modi and his family.
The Chief Managing Director (CMD) Sunil Mehta and the Executive Director KV Bramhaji Rao are being questioned. The interrogation is being done at the CBI's Mumbai office.
In a related development, the government today revoked the passports of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi who are at the forefront of the alleged multi-million Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud.
Last week, the passport issuing authority in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had suspended the validity of passports of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi with immediate effect for a period of four weeks. Their passports were suspended on the advice of the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The ED had also issued summons for appearance to the billionaire diamond merchant and Choksi in connection with its money laundering probe in the Rs 11,400 crore fraud in PNB.
Both Modi and Choksi were summoned under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and asked to depose within a week's time. The ED has registered a PMLA case against them and others based on a CBI FIR which was the result of a PNB complaint.
It had emerged that the fraudulently issued Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) from the Mumbai branch of PNB were issued in favour of Hong Kong branches of Allahabad Bank and Axis Bank. These letters helped facilitate Rs 280.7 crore fraud by jewellery designer Nirav Modi among others.
As per the FIR lodged with the CBI, Shetty and Kharat had transmitted SWIFT instructions to the above-mentioned banks for raising buyers credit and for funding the Nostro accounts of PNB, without due procedure. The LoUs were issued on behalf of Diamond R US, Solar Exports, Stellar Diamonds.