Curious case of Nirav Modi and PNB fraud case


The quantum of fraud itself is more than 8-times the bank's annual profit.

"Nirav Modi has not come out with any concrete plan to repay so far". He was ranked 1,054 globally and 82 in India a year ago.

Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation sealed the residence of Ami Modi, wife of Nirav Modi at Worli on Thursday in Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case involving her jeweller husband.

PNB has said that two junior officials at the Mumbai branch had issued illegal "letters of undertaking".

At least 10 bank employees have been suspended but it is not clear whether anybody from the crucial PNB Credit Approval Committee or its Board of Directors figure among them.

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On Wednesday, PNB had informed the domestic bourses that it had detected fraudulent transactions worth Rs 11,700 cr. "Assets worth Rs 1,300 crore have been seized and the passports have been revoked, along with circulating a look-out notice", he told reporters at a press conference. Since they had no pre-arranged credit limit, the branch official asked the companies to put down the full amount as collateral so the bank could issue LOUs to authorise the credit. The transaction request was routed through SWIFT, the global financial messaging service, instead of the core banking system (CBS) as a result the higher authorities were unsuspected of the scam. Such transactions went on for years without detection, PNB said.

A day after the fraud was detected, ED officials on Thursday landed at Firestar Diamond Pvt Ltd. head office in Bharat Diamond Bourse, in Bandra Kurla Complex, Modi's private office at Kohinoor City in Kurla West, his showroom and boutique at Itts House in Fort in south Mumbai and a workshop in Peninsula Business Park in Lower Parel.

Stating that the central government is watching the development on a day to day basis, he said that it is committed to clean up the system.

Nirav Modi, an Indian born jewellery designer and founder of United States dollars 2.3 billion Firestar Diamond.

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.

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The diamantaire is an India citizen but his brother Nishal and wife Ami are not Indian nationals.

The case came to light when Modi's companies sought a fresh loan last month. Nirav Modi had roped in Priyanka Chopra to be the global ambassador for the Nirav Modi brand past year.

The finance ministry has issued an advisory to all banks to review their large customer exposures, according to media reports.

"In one of the industry meetings in 2013 he said that when people wear a Cartier ring they don't say it's a diamond ring, they say it's Cartier", said the member, who did not want to be named.

The PSU Banking Index fell 1.1% mainly due to PNB, Bank of Baroda, IDBI and Syndicate Bank. "Look what happened at Punjab National Bank". "She is now seeking legal opinion with respect to terminating her contract with the brand in light of allegations of financial fraud against Nirav Modi".

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