CBI Court Rejects Bail Plea Of PNB Scam Accused; Nirav Modi In The UK

Published on 13 Jun 2018 by Shivi

On Monday, a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court rejected the bail application of senior official Rajesh Jindal of Punjab National Bank (PNB). Jindal had been arrested by the CBI in connection with the Rs. 13,578 crore fraud involving diamantaire, Nirav Modi and his maternal uncle, Mehul Choksi.

The special court accepted the argument presented on behalf of the CBI, that Jindal was head of Brady House branch of the Punjab National Bank when the fraud was in play. As per CBI’s case, Jindal knowingly allowed Gokulnath Shetty, the former deputy manager of PNB, to continue issuing LOUs (Letter of Undertaking), even when the accused companies had not provided a 100% margin against the LOU.

The defence stated that Jindal did not have knowledge of the issuance of the fraudulent LOUs. On this, CBI argued that LOUs to Modi were being issued illegally since 2010. However, Modi and Choksi had fled the country before the CBI registered a case against them.

On Monday the United Kingdom confirmed that Modi was in the country. The message went out after news spread in the British press that Modi was seeking asylum in the UK. In New Delhi, UK Minister Baroness Williams met Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju and assured the Indian side that Britain will extend its full cooperation to India in the latter's efforts to hand over Modi, liquor baron Vijay Mallya and others.

The Ministry of External Affairs told that the Indian government was waiting for the country's law enforcement agencies to approach them before pushing for an extradition.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) found that Nirav Modi’s brother Nehal Modi knowingly and intentionally assisted him in concealing the alleged laundering of money and destroying evidence, he destroyed all the cell phones of all dummy directors in Dubai and Hong Kong and arranged tickets for them of Cairo- a safe haven, while his sister Purvi Modi was an ‘active participant in the generation of proceeds of crime’ and his father Deepak Modi knowingly assist the activity of money laundering.

For showing export-import transactions, Nirav Modi had created over 15 dummy companies overseas to rotate the funds acquired through letters of undertaking (LoU) from Punjab National Bank (PNB). The ED has now identified at least 17 dummy directors of these companies and all these dummy directors are either employees or ex-employees of Modi’s firms who earned salaries of Rs 8,000 to Rs 30,000 per month for their services.

The ED arrested six of accused and has been able to record the statement of only 4 out of 17 dummy directors. ED further states that after the scam broke at PNB, the dummy directors wished to return back to India but were convinced to stay back, Nehal Modi visited Dubai and took lead in the matter.

Judge S.R. Tamboli allowed the ED’s plea on behalf of the application seeking permission to interrogate the accused before the special CBI court.

Divyesh Gandhi, director in Anuragen, one of the Hong Kong-based dummy companies, stated that he was handling accounts of all the six companies. He also informs that after the crisis, Nehal Modi, Nirav Modi’s US-based stepbrother, destroyed mobile phones of all dummy directors and shifted them to Cairo.

Tags: Default or Fraud 

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