PNB detects Rs 11,344 crore fraud, approaches CBI

PNB detects Rs 11,344 crore fraud, approaches CBI

PNB detects Rs 11,344 crore fraud, approaches CBI

Punjab National Bank (PNB) has detected a fraud of Rs 11,344.40 crore in one of its Mumbai branches and rushed to the CBI with two complaints against these transactions.

The transactions are claimed to be linked to billionaire diamond merchant Nirav Modi and a jewellery company.

The fresh complaints could add further trouble to Modi and his associates, who are already named in a CBI FIR registered on January 31 on a complaint by PNB that it was cheated of Rs 280.70 crore through fraudulent transactions. It is not clear whether the jewellery company mentioned in the complaint is linked to Modi.

Modi could not be contacted for his version of the developments.

While CBI sources confirmed receipt of the complaints, it has not provided details about the contents of the complaint. PNB filed the complaints on late Tuesday night after its officers detected the fraudulent transactions in one of its branches in Mumbai.

PNB informed the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Wednesday morning that it 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. In the bank, these transactions are contingent in nature and liability arising out of these on the bank shall be decided based on the law and genuineness of underlying transactions," it said.

PNB said the quantum of such transactions is $1771.69 million and that it has already referred the matter to law enforcement agencies to examine and book the culprits as per law of the land. The bank has not provided details of the persons involved in fraudulent activities in the BSE filing.

PNB declaration resulted in its shares plunging around 8% - the stock opened at Rs 160 on the BSE and soon fell as much as 7.82% to hit the day's low of Rs 149. In National Stock Exchange, it plunged 8% per cent to touch an intra-day low of Rs 148.80.

In an earlier complaint on which the CBI filed an FIR, Modi, his wife Ami, brother Nishal and business partner Chinubhai Choksi had conspired with officials of PNB for fraudulent issuance of Letters of Undertakings. Besides Nirav, his wife, brother and Choksi, all partners of Diamon R US, Solar Exports and Stellar Diamonds and PNB employees Gokulnath Shetty and M H Kharat are named in the FIR.