PNB fraud been going on since 2010 says CBI to court

Vastavam web: Violation of norms for issuance of Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) to benefit billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi had been going on since 2010, the CBI told a court here today.The agency, which secured a 12-day remand of four accused arrested yesterday, explained the modus operandi involved in the alleged Rs 12,636-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud before the special CBI court here.This had been going on since 2010, the lawyer said, while seeking remand of four accused including Aniyath Shiv Raman Nair, Director of Gitanjali Group of Companies of Choksi.

Nair had signed various applications to avail the LoU facility, and he was also a director at 19 other companies of Mehul Choksi, the CBI lawyer said.Bosamiya used to visit the Brady House branch of PNB here, the CBI lawyer said. It is from this branch that the alleged scam started.

Documents for LoUs were submitted on the instructions of Bosamiya, as per the information given by co-accused Arjun Patil (senior executive, Firestar) to the interrogators, the CBI said.Patil told investigators that he had prepared the documents on Bosamiya’s direction, the CBI lawyer claimed.Bosamiya was taken into custody around 11 am yesterday and was produced before the court around 4 pm today, after over 24 hours, he said, alleging that the CBI showed wrong time of the arrest and this was an illegal custody.

Under the law, an accused has to be produced before a court within 24 hours of the arrest.The lawyer of Sanjay Rambhia, a partner of the firm M/s Sampat and Mehta which was auditing the company since 2001, told the court that his client had pointed out unsecured loans of Rs 5,100 and also brought them to the notice of the Income Tax department.In order to find out the nexus (between firms and PNB officials), a fair chance needs to be given to the investigating officer, the judge said, sending all four to the CBI custody till March 17.

Bosamiya, Miten Anil Pandya, Sanjay Rambhia and Aniyath Shiv Raman Nair were arrested yesterday.It is alleged that Choksi and Modi got LoUs and Foregin Letters of Credit (FLCs) of Rs 12,636 crore issued in favour of foreign branches of Indian banks based on fraudulent claims.Vipul Ambani, President, Finance, the Firestar International; Kavita Mankikar, executive assistant and authorised signatory of three firms of Nirav Modi; Arjun Patil, senior executive, Firestar group, were arrested in the case related to the Modi group firms.

Kapil Khandelwal, CFO, Nakshatra group and Gitanjali group and Niten Shahi, manager, Gitanjali group, were arrested in the case related to Choksi’s firms.