New Delhi (E W D): The CBI on Saturday arrested three people in connection with the over Rs 11,000 crore Punjab National Bank fraud case. The probe agency arrested Gokulnath Shetty, then Deputy Manager (now Retd) Punjab National Bank; Manoj Kharat, SWO (single window operator) PNB and Hemant Bhat, Authorised Signatory of the Nirav Modi Group of Firms. All three will be produced before a CBI Special court in Mumbai later in the day.
The CBI, which raided the residences of the PNB officials today, is probing their role in issuing the LoUs to the companies. Shetty and Kharat, according to the bank, have “fraudulently ” issued letter of undertakings ( LoUs) and “transmitted SWIFT instructions to the overseas branches of Indian Banks” to raise buyers credit for three firms of Modi without “making entries in the bank system”.
Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate is conducting raids at several branches of Gitanjali Gems across the country.
The CBI had filed a fresh FIR in the case on Friday, naming 16 people, including Gitanjali Group promoter Mehul Choksi, also the maternal uncle of billionaire diamond jeweller Nirav Modi, and two officials from PNB. The agency alleged in the FIR that Choksi and his three companies — Gitanjali Gems, Gili India and Nakshatra Brand — swindled PNB to the tune of Rs 4,886.72 crore in 2017-18. This was done by getting 143 Letters of Understanding (LoU) issued through the bank.