Moneycontrol
Last Updated : Mar 13, 2018 08:53 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

PNB fraud amount rises to Rs 13,640 crore; additional exposure found in Gitanjali group's Asmi Jewellery

This takes the Delhi-based lender’s total exposure to one of country’s biggest banking frauds up to Rs 13,640 crore from the earlier estimate of Rs 12,700 crore.

Tarun Sharma @talktotarun
Beena Parmar @BeenaParmar
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Punjab National Bank (PNB) has told the police that it has uncovered additional exposure of about Rs 942.18 crore (USD 145.27 million) to Asmi Jewellery of Gitanjali Group in connection with a massive alleged fraud, according to a court filing by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

This takes the Delhi-based lender’s total exposure to one of country’s biggest banking frauds up to Rs 13,640 crore from the earlier estimate of Rs 12,700 crore.

As investigations widen and unauthorized loans are uncovered, the bank has said that the total amount allegedly defrauded by the accused (Gitanjali Group) till date is about Rs 7,080.86 crore during the period 2013-17, according to the CBI filing. The investigating agency has requested  permission for further investigation under The Prevention of Corruption Act.

Previously, PNB had pegged its fraud exposure to Gitanjali Group, controlled by Mehul Choksi, at Rs 6,138.28 crore, after addition of Rs 1,251.56 crore on February 22.

"Thereafter, PNB filed a supplementary complaint for defrauding PNB in the sanctioned limit of the marginally noted companies at Serial 3, 4 and 5 (Gitanjali Gems, Gili India and Nakshatra Brand) and M/s Asmi Jewellery India Ltd for an additional amount of Rs 942.18 crores," the court filing read.

In a disclosure to the stock exchanges on February 14, PNB had alleged that two jewellery groups of Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi for connived with two of its bank officials to fraudulently receive guarantees against which the firms raised credit from overseas banks.

The investigative agency has moved special court against one of the PNB officials - Gokulnath Shetty - to impose Section 409 of the Indian Penal Code, which is a "criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent".

"The amount of Rs 942 cr were the regular limits sanctioned to Geetanjali Group under consortium lending, and were standard credit exposure at the time of detection of the fraud. Now, this exposure is being added to the existing fraudulent amount. This amount has nothing to do with any new fraudulent LoUs/LoCs," a PNB spokesperson told Moneycontrol.
First Published on Mar 13, 2018 06:39 pm
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