CBI questions top officials of PNB

CBI questions top officials of PNB

The agency suspects that the escape of Nirav, Mehul and their family was pre-planned and they had an inkling of the impending action by the bank against them, sources said. "This has been done before we write to court for issuing LRs to countries like Hong Kong, Belgium, Dubai, Bahrain where these branches are located", said an official. Neeshal, his brother, who is a Belgian citizen left on the same day while Modi's wife Ami - a United States citizen, left on 6 January, the IE report said, quoting an official.

Jatin Mehta, who is now a citizen of Saint Kitts owes Rs 6,800 crore to 15 banks in India.

Widening its probe into the PNB fraud case, the ED will soon send judicial requests to over a dozen countries for obtaining information about the overseas businesses and assets of Modi and Mehul Choksi, a PTI report said.

The CBI has already quizzed 12 PNB officials and made several arrests. If the accused skip the summons, the agency may approach a special PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) court to get non-bailable warrants against them.

Mumbai Mirror while quoting sources said that Modi has also bought a villa at St. Kitts which is helping him acquire citizenship of the island nation.

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It also attached worth about Rs 80 crore, two office properties, in the name of Mark Business Enterprises Private Limited in Lower Parel area of Mumbai. The collective outstanding amount could be above Rs 20,000 crore, officials were reported as saying.

Investigators asked these officials how the fraud was detected by the bank. The ED has so far searched 192 premises all across the country and seized assets worth Rs. 5870 crore. The agency has also frozen mutual funds and shares worth Rs 7.80 crore of Nirav Modi and Rs 86.72 crore belonging to his uncle Choksi.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday turned up the heat on Punjab National Bank with the agency questioning the bank's managing director and chief executive Sunil Mehta, and executive director K.V. Brahmaji Rao in Mumbai, the agency confirmed.

According to the official, while applications for LoUs were reportedly submitted by Modi's three firms - Diamonds R Us, Solar Exports and Stellar Diamonds - investigators are now probing whether money was routed through a web of shell companies and withdrawn for personal expenses, including purchase of prime properties in Mumbai and Delhi by Modi and Choksi.

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