Scam worth Rs 110 bn: PNB detects fraud transactions; stock price drops 7%

The scam could turn out to be the biggest scam in Indian corporate history

 PNB, punjab national bank, pnb news

In what may turn out to be one of the biggest scams in Indian corporate history, Punjab National Bank has detected fraudulent transactions worth around Rs 110 billion from one of its Mumbai branch allegedly by diamond merchant Nirav Modi, his relatives and business partner Mehul Choksi during this year. | Today’s Paper

PNB share prices fell around 7% in the early trade on Wednesday morning after the bank reported fraudulent transactions worth $1.77 billion to Bombay Stock Exchange.

“The bank has detected some fraudulent and unauthorised transactions (messages) in one of its branch in Mumbai for the benefit of a few select account holders with their apparent connivance. Based on these transactions other banks appear to have advanced money to these customers abroad,” Delhi-based public sector bank said in its BSE filing.

The bank said that the transactions are contingent in nature and liability arising out of these on the bank will be decided based on the law and genuineness of underlying transactions. “The matter was already referred to law enforcement agencies to examine and book the culprits as per law of the land. The bank is committed to clean and transparent banking,” PNB said.

On February 5, the PNB had said in a statement that its preliminary investigations showed that it had come across suspected fraud amounting to Rs 2.8 billion.
“Punjab National Bank has come across certain fraudulent Letter of Undertakings issued by two of its employees namely Gokulnath Shetty and Manoj Hanument Kharat at Brady House Branch Mumbai in connivance with firm belonging to Nirav Modi, Nishal Modi, Ami Nirav Modi and Mehul Chinubhai Choksi partners of M/S Diamond R US, M/S Solar Exports and M/S Stellar Diamond,” the bank had said in a statement.

The bank immediately referred the case to Central Bureau of Investigation. “On unearthing these fraudulent activities, the bank rejected the request for roll-over and decided to inform the regulator and CBI for investigation,” the bank had said.
Acting on the complaint, the CBI filed an FIR against businessmen Nirav Modi, his wife Ami, his brother Nishal and Mehul Choksi.

“The public servants committed abuse of official position to cause pecuniary advantage to Diamond R US, Solar Exports, Stellar Diamonds and wrongful loss of Rs 2.8 billion to Punjab National Bank during 2017,” the FIR by CBI has alleged.

The CBI registered the FIR under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections related to criminal conspiracy, cheating and provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act against the four.
The firms, however, contested this saying that they availed this facility in the past also, the complaint, now a part of the FIR, has alleged. However, branch records did not reveal details of any such facility granted to the said firm, it said. Mehul Choksi had said in a statement said he retired from Diamond R US as partner in 1999.

GST will change poor’s destiny, will eradicate corruption: Yogi Adityanath

While addressing a gathering in Varanasi, Adityanath said that the GST will eradicate corruption

Yogi Adityanath

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday said that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will change the destiny of the poor people of the nation.

While addressing a gathering in Varanasi, Adityanath said that the tax reform will eradicate corruption.

“GST will change the destiny of the poor. Things will become cheaper. We’ll do away with corruption. Traders will get freedom from ‘Inspector Raj’,” said Adityanath.

The GST, rolled out on June 30 midnight, is said to bring the Indian economy under a single tax bracket.

Under the GST, six slabs of taxation have been proposed by the council, ranging from zero percent to 43 percent.

Initially, it was being said that essential commodity and luxury goods will be taxed separately.



Full text: Govt using CBI to target my son, alleges Chidambaram post raids

Chidambaram alleged that the Modi govt was trying to muzzle his voice


Former Union minister P Chidambaram said that Tuesday’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raids at his and his son, Karti Chidambaram’s, residences were an attempt by the Modi government to muzzle his voice.

While no official word has come from the CBI, sources have said that the raids were conducted in connection with the Aircel-Maxis probe, where Chidambaram’s role as then finance minister in granting Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval to the deal has been called into question. Recently, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had also searched Chidambaram’s house.

In his official statement regarding the Tuesday morning raids, Chidambaram said that the Modi government was using the CBI and other agencies to target his son. The Congress leader alleged that the government was trying to silence his voice and stop him from writing against its policies and actions.

“FIPB approval is granted in hundreds of cases,” the statement said, adding, “Every case was processed according to law and approval was granted or refused in accordance with the recommendations of the FIPB consisting of five secretaries to the Government of India.”


Below is the full text of his official statement:
FIPB approval is granted in hundreds of cases. The five Secretaries who constitute the FIPB, the officials of the FIPB Secretariat and the competent authority in each case are the public officials. There is no allegation against any of them. There is no allegation against me.

Every case was processed according to law and approval was granted or refused in accordance with the recommendations of the FIBP consisting of five Secretaries to the Government of India.

The government, using the CBI and other agencies, is targeting my son and his friends. The government’s aim is to silence my voice and stop me from writing, as it has tried to do in the cases of leaders of Opposition parties, journalists, columnists, NGOs and civil society organizations. All I will say is, I shall continue to speak and write. |READMORE…

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