Bank

FIR filed against rotomac pens owner over bank fraud

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Post PNB fraud, On the basis of Bank of Baroda’s alleged complaint for swindling over Rs 800 crore, an FIR has been registered against Rotomac pen promoter Vikram Kothari in New Delhi on Monday.

No arrested have been made till now even after searching the Kothari’s residence in Kanpur from early in the morning said CBI spokesperson.

According to th media reports, CBI also said that, Kothari, his wife and his son are being examined by the CBI, which is conducting the searches.

As per the early reports, Kothari was "missing" from Kanpur with bank loan worth Rs. 837 crore. However, Kothari denied reports that he has left the country. The Kanpur-based company's owner had taken loans of Rs 352 crore from Kanpur branch of Allahabad Bank and Rs 485 crore from three other banks: Bank of Baroda, Indian Overseas Bank, and Union Bank of India. Rajesh Gupta, Recovery Agent of Allahabad Bank, told ANI that the loan amount is being recovered from the attached properties of Kothari.

(With Agency Inputs)

Nirav Modi

PBN scam: I-T joined Nirav's 29 Properties, 105 Bank

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The Income Tax Department Friday provisionally attached 29 properties and 105 bank accounts of beleaguered jewellery designer Nirav Modi the diamond merchant, his family and firms as part of its tax evasion probe, officials said.

Adding further, the department also slapped the new anti-black money act against him for allegedly holding illegal assets abroad.

The asset is suspected to be in Singapore. The Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 deals with cases of overseas illegal assets, which till recently were probed under the Income Tax Act, 1961.

The new legislation has provisions for a steep 120 per cent tax and penalty on undisclosed foreign assets and income, besides carrying a jail term of up to 10 years.

The taxman also filed a charge sheet against Nirav Modi before a special court in Mumbai under various sections of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

(With agency inputs)

PNB

PNB scam: Fresh FIR filed against Mehul Choksi

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CBI filed new FIR against Gitanjali Group promoter Mehul Choksi for alleged fraud in the issuance of Letters of Understanding worth Rs 11,400 crore from Punjab National Bank, official said on Friday.

Central Bureau  of Investigation has alleged that the FIR pertains to 143 LOUs worth over Rs 4,886 cr fraudulently issued to 3 organisations of Choksi — Gitanjali Gems, Nakshatra and Gili — during 2017-18, they said.

The agency had earlier filed a separate case involving Rs 280-crore fraud, which has now been expanded to cover LoUs worth Rs 6,498 crore issued to accused companies of Nirav Modi and Choksi.

An LoU is a letter of comfort issued by one bank to branches of other banks, based on which foreign branches offer credit to buyers. After registering the FIR, the CBI carried out searches at 26 locations across six cities covering the premises of 18 Indian subsidiaries of Gitanjali Group.

Four officials of Punjab National Bank were also questioned, Bechu Tiwari, chief manager posted at Nariman Point branch, Mumbai during February 2015-17; DGM Sanjay Kumar Prasad who was then AGM at Brady house branch during period 2016-17; chief manager of zonal audit office Mohinder Kumar Sharma, who was then concurrent auditor during November 2015-January 17; and Manoj Kharat, then single window operator during November 2014-Decemeber 2017, the officials said.

They said a special team under a Deputy Inspector General (DIG) is being formed to probe the case.

In its complaint, the public sector bank has alleged that 293 Letters of Understanding (LoUs) worth Rs 11,400 cr were fraudulently issued to the companies of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi from one of the PNB’s branches in Mumbai.

Expanding the ambit of the first FIR registered on 31 January against the billionaire diamond merchant and Choksi, the agency has 150 LoUs worth Rs 6,498 crore issued by the bank.

The LoUs were issued by the Punjab National Bank to Indian banks in Mauritius, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Antwerp and Frankfurt for the accused companies, the officials said.

The remaining 143 LoUs worth Rs 4,886 crore will be part of probe under the new FIR registered on Friday.

The accused in the new FIR include Choksi (managing director, Gitanjali Gems), Gokulnath Shetty (retired DGM of Punjab National Bank), Manoj Kharat (then single window officer of Punjab National Bank), and companies - Gitanjali Gems Limited , Gili India Limited, Nakshatra Brand Limited, directors of the companies Krishnan Sangameshwaran, Nazura Yash Ajaney, Dinesh Gopaldas Bhatia, Aniyath Shivraman Nair and Dhanesh Vrajlal Sheth.

Also named in the FIR are Jyoti Bharat Vora, Anil Umesh Haldipur, Chandrakant Kanu Karkare, Pankhuri Abhijeet Warange, Mihir Bhaskar Joshi and unidentified bank officials.

The CBI has alleged in the FIR that accused bank officials Shetty and Kharat in connivance with accused companies and others defrauded Punjab National Bank to the tune of Rs 4,886.70 crore, the CBI spokesperson said.

The agency alleged that the accused officials issued fraudulent and unauthorised letters of undertakings in favour of foreign branches of different India-based banks.

The officials omitted entries of LoUs in the core banking system of the bank issued on behalf of the accused companies to avoid detection, they said.

(With agency inputs)

Mumbai PNB

PNBs fraud shocks business sectors

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The Country’s second-biggest public sector bank, Punjab National Bank (PNB) on Wednesday opened many eyes with the disclosure that it has detected some "fraudulent and unauthorised" transactions worth a staggering about Rs 11,300 crore in one branch of Mumbai.

It was noticed that the value of the fraudulent transactions works out to more than 8 times PNB's annual net profit of Rs 1,324 crore during 2016-17.

The bank said in a regulatory filing with the BSE that the transactions were "for the benefit of a few select account holders with their apparent connivance" and that “based on these transactions other banks appear to have advanced money to these customers abroad.”

PNB did not name the people involved but said it had reported the deals to law enforcement agencies and would evaluate later whether it faces any liability arising out of the transactions. 

The matter has been referred to law enforcement agencies to examine the case and book the culprits, the bank statement added. "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," PNB said, without giving further details.

However, sources disclose that PNB has lodged a complaint with the CBI against billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi and a jewellery company over fraudulent transactions worth Rs 11,300 crore. The premier investigating agency is reported to have received the complaints about the transactions detected by the public sector bank late on Tuesday night. Modi is already being investigated by the CBI on a complaint from the Punjab National Bank filed last week over a $44 million (Rs 283 crore) fraud.

This is the second incident of fraud in less than 10 days involving the same person being reported to the CBI. Nirav Modi figured in Forbes India's Richest People List 2016, with a net worth of $1.74 billion. Jolted into action by the Rs 11,300 crore fraud at PNB, the finance ministry has set a oneweek deadline for all banks to send reports involving this case or other such incidents latest. Since more than one lender is involved, all banks have been asked by the finance ministry's department of financial services to submit a status report soon on the fraud, a senior official confirmed. He said the ``letter of undertaking'' was issued fraudulently by PNB to billionaire diamond merchant Nirav Modi and associates and was encashed overseas by them from different banks, both in the private as well as public sector. Union Bank of India, Allahabad Bank and Axis Bank are reported to have offered credit based on letters of undertaking (LOUs) issued by PNB.

An LOU is in effect a letter of comfort issued by one bank to branches of other banks, based on which foreign branches offer credit to buyers. Foreign branches of these banks which have dealings with outlets of a jewellery company are understood to have taken significant exposures. All this was being carried out in connivance with PNB officials including a deputy general manager since 2011, sources added.

PNB has suspended 10 employees in connection with the fraud. The finance ministry has also asked, through the reform agenda circulated to the banks on January 24, that dubious accounts should be scrutinised and appropriate action against fraudsters be taken with zero tolerance. Banks should not dither from taking action against their own employees in case of collusion if there is sufficient ground, the directions added.

(With agency inputs)

Sensex

Market crashed; Investors lose Rs 4.95 L cr wealth

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A downfall for investors of Rs 4.95 L crore among sell-off in the broader market on Tuesday where the standard BSE Sensex suddenly fell 1,275 points or 3.6 percent in opening trade.

The BSE Sensex went deep below the 34,000-mark by plunging about 1,275 points or 3.6 percent in opening trade due to across-the-board losses after investor emotions were hit by a sell-off in world markets.

Following the downfall, the total market capitalisation of BSE listed companies eroded by Rs 4,94,766 crore to Rs 1,43,00,981 crore. Extending its falling streak for the sixth straight session, the 30-share index fell by 1,274.35 points, or 3.66 percent, to 33,482.81 with all sectoral indices led by realty, consumer durables, metal and banking tradings in the negative zone.

On BSE, 2,221 stocks declined, while 169 advanced and 83 remained unchanged. Domestic brokerage firm Angel Broking in a report on Tuesday said that a fall in Indian markets is likely amid sell off in global indices. "US stocks suffered one of their worst days in recent history in the last trading session, as markets continued to throw a tantrum over rising interest rates. The Dow Jones ended on downside of 4.6 percent to close at 24,346 and the Nasdaq Composite edged down to 3.8 percent, to 6,968," it said.

Moreover, UK shares tumbled as a strong US jobs report reinforced the Fed's outlook for three interest-rate hikes this year and investors looked ahead to a new round of talks between the UK and European Union. The FTSE 100 was down by 1.5 percent to close at 7,335, it added.

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