New Delhi, June 16 (PTI) The CBI has filed a lawsuit against the former international leader of the Gitanjali group of companies, Sunil Verma, and others in connection with an alleged PNB fraud involving an amount of more than Rs 7,080 crore, in which the group’s promoter Mehul Choksi is wanted by the agency, officials said on Wednesday.

Two officials from the Punjab National Bank (PNB) – Sagar Sawant and Sanjay Prasad – and a director of the group’s Gili and Nakshtra brands, Dhanesh Seth, were also cited as accused in the additional indictment filed by the group. Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), they said.

The additional indictment, filed more than three years after the first indictment in the case against Choksi and his companies, coincides with legal proceedings against the fugitive diamond dealer in a court in Dominica, where he has was arrested for “illegal entry” on May 24 after his mysterious disappearance from neighboring Antigua and Barbuda.

“This additional charge sheet after three years shows that it is only an attempt to cover up anomalies that the defense noted in the first charge sheet. Does not become evidence until it is filed. in court and the allegations date back to well before the FIR, ”said Choksi’s lawyer Vijay Aggarwal.

Choksi had been living in Antigua and Barbuda since 2018, having escaped India in the first week of January that year, weeks before the scam was reported.

The diamond dealer and his nephew, Nirav Modi, allegedly embezzled over Rs 13,000 crore of public money from the PNB using Letters of Commitment (LoU) and Foreign Letters of Credit (FLC) by bribing officials from the PNB. Brady House branch of the bank in Bombay.

Of the total amount of the scam, Choksi’s companies are accused of embezzling Rs 7,080 crore via LoU and FLC, while Modi and his companies are said to have cheated to the tune of over Rs 6,498 crore, according to the CBI.

The agency’s investigation has so far found that 165 LoUs and 58 FLCs have been issued to businesses in Choksi.

The CBI said its investigation was continuing into the case and the final amount siphoned off by the accused was still under investigation.

The agency slapped charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, breach of trust, disappearance of evidence, forgery of accounts, bribery and criminal misconduct by an official in its supplementary indictment filed in court. Mumbai Special Court.

The CBI investigation found that from 2011 to 2017, accused PNB officials, in a conspiracy with Choksi and his corporate executives, fraudulently issued large numbers of LoUs to foreign banks to obtain buyer credit. in favor of its businesses. .

These LoUs and FLCs would have been issued to Choksi companies without any sanctioned limit or cash margin and without making entries into the bank’s central banking system to escape control in the event of default.

LoUs are a guarantee given by a bank on behalf of its client to a foreign bank. If the customer does not reimburse the foreign bank, the responsibility lies with the guarantor bank.

It is alleged that Choksi and Modi used the mechanism to obtain loans from foreign banks, which were not repaid, bearing the responsibility of over Rs 13,000 crore on the GNP.

The investigation further revealed that the fraud was allegedly carried out despite circulars issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which were known to senior PNB officials, the CBI alleged.

In addition, PNB officials failed to implement the circulars and warnings issued by the RBI regarding safeguarding SWIFT (international banking messaging system) operations and instead distorted the factual situation with the RBI. , alleged the agency. PTI ABS RC


Warning :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI


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