SFIO summons Chanda Kochhar, Shikha Sharma

07 March 2018, 06:50 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Diamond merchant Nirav Modi. Credit Facebook Nirav Modi

Diamond merchant Nirav Modi. Credit Facebook  Nirav Modi

Sources said the SFIO has asked top officials of a few private and public lenders to appear in person or through a legal representative for questioning on the loan facility given to the jewellery firms.

After media reports that ICICI Bank managing director and chief executive Chanda Kochhar and her Axis Bank counterpart Shikha Sharma have been summoned by SFIO regarding the case, stock exchanges had sought clarifications from both the lenders.

The central government is unable to make a breakthrough and able to arrest these money thief Vijaya Malliya-9000 crore, Mehul Choksi-12700 crore, Nirav Modi-11400 crore, Lalit Modi-1700 crore.

According to a PTI report, senior Axis Bank officials on Tuesday appeared before the SFIO.

Saying that the bank was fully cooperating with the investigation agencies, the ICICI Bank said: "Our exposure to the Gitanjali group of companies is not the largest among lenders in the consortium". The loans were extended to Gitanjali Group between November 2010 and April 2014 against a collateral of only about Rs 100 crore, sources familiar with the development said. PNB has lent Rs 587 crore as working capital, while ICICI Bank has lent Rs 405 crore to Mr Choksi's firms. A team from Axis Bank, led by deputy managing director V Srinivasan and executives from the trade and transactions department, on Tuesday went to the SFIO's office.

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The investigation agency has filed two FIRs against Inder Chand Chundawat, former senior branch manager at PNB's Barmer branch. In the aftermath of the Punjab National Bank scam, banks have now become more pro-active in sending complaints to the CBI.

A LoU is a guarantee which is given by an issuing bank to Indian banks having branches overseas to grant short-term credit to the applicant.

Before this, CBI has detained Vipul Chitalia, the Vice President of Gitanjali Group of Companies, as a part of its probe into the PBN scam. "Some of the banks have already started replying", said an ED official. The ED has also traced some of the money being routed back to the banks for re-issuing letter of undertaking, or LoUs. He didn't unveil some other insights about Chitalia's affirmed part in the PNB misrepresentation.

The Rs 12,636-crore fraud was allegedly perpetrated by billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, the promoter of Gitanjali Gems.

This is separate from the Rs12,636 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud investigation, which involved fake letters of undertaking, he added.

They were sent through an global messaging system for banking called SWIFT, which is used to pass instructions among banks globally to transfer funds. These amounts are then credited to the LoU issuing bank's Nostro accounts.



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