PNB stock hits 52-week low on Rs 11400-cr fraud

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Nirav Modi, his wife Ami, brother Nishal and Mehul Choksi are partners in Diamonds R US, Solar Exports and Stellar Diamonds, which has shops in foreign locations such as Hong Kong, Dubai, and NY.

According to sources, unspecified quantity of stocks of gold, diamond and other precious stones worth several hundred crores of rupees have been seized during the raids, besides incriminating documents, computer discs and other materials.

The agency filed the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act after going through a CBI FIR filed recently. "Geetanjali Jewels - a company owned by Mehul Choski who is also one of the partners along with Nirav Modi in the firms booked for fraud by PNB", Prasad said.

The Punjab National Bank (PNB) on Wednesday linked the billionaire to fraudulent transactions worth Rs 11,360 crore from a single branch in Mumbai.

It has been that Modi - whose operations are spread across Europe, the U.S., Middle East and Far East, as well as India - has written to PNB and other banks saying he would return thee outstanding money.

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Addressing a press conference, on Thursday, Feb 15, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala wondered if Nirav Modi, whom he referred to as "Chhota Modi", was tipped off by someone within the government about the PNB complaint like former IPL czar Lalit Modi and business tycoon Vijay Mallya. The police had found involvement of a bank employee and his three accomplices and had charged them for cheating and forgery under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code. CBI officers have already locked Nirav's Worli flat and on Thursday issued fresh look-out circulars against Nirav, his wife Ami, brother Nishal and Choksi. The two had allegedly issued fake Letters of Undertakings (LOUs) to the firms owned by Modi and his partners to allow buyers credit for making payments to overseas supplier despite knowing that the Diamond R US, Solar Exports, Stellar Diamonds - the firms owned by the alleged scamsters - did not have any experience of gaining such credits. Both are accused in the Rs 280 crore bank fraud case.

After the entire family swiftly escaped around the globe, Nirav Modi was spotted with PM Modi in Davos as well.

Mehta said the fraud remained under investigation, but the bank would take responsibility where it should. While PNB did not name the other lenders, Union Bank of India, Allahabad Bank and Axis Bank are said to have offered credit based on LoUs issued by PNB.

PNB shares continued to bleed for the second day in a row, ending with a steep loss of 12 per cent at Rs 128.35 apiece on BSE.

"Nirav Modi and his accomplices attempted to bypass established banking channels by perpetrating this fraud", Minister of Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters.

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