State-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) on Wednesday said it had detected a Dollars 1.77 billion (about Rs 11,400 crore) scam where billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi allegedly acquired fraudulent letters of undertaking from a branch in Mumbai to secure overseas credit from other Indian lenders.
It is also inconceivable that only 10 people (those suspended) were in the know of things, when even the foreign sellers (who sold the raw diamonds to Modi's firms) held accounts at foreign branches of Indian banks.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad addresses a press conference over Nirav Modi's case, at BJP headquarters in New Delhi on Thursday.
"Were all the departments under the Modi government asleep, and why?"
He asked how could Modi dupe the banking system under the nose of the government, which has launched a fight against black money and benami transactions.
He said that many Congress leaders were also close to Nirav Modi and that the BJP had several photographs of Congress leaders with his business partner Mehul Choksi. The Congress was quick to point out the similarities between the Mallya and Nirav Modi cases.
Acccusing the government authorities of "sleeping" on a July 26, 2016 complaint, the principal Opposition party called it the "biggest bank loot in the past 70 years" and referred to the celebrity designer as "chhota Modi". "What kind of language are they using?"
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He has resisted increasing pressure to quit since December, when Cyril Ramaphosa replaced him as leader of the ANC. Nevertheless, he said it is "generally thought in South Africa that the NEC want to get rid of Jacob Zuma ".
"The Prime Minister had said in the Lok Sabha that our government has not given any loans that have become NPA (Non Performing Assets)".
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala questioned how Nirav Modi was allowed to escape. "Nirav Modi had arrived in Davos on his own and was present at CII group photo event". Hug PM Modi 2.
Searches were conducted at 17 premises of Nirav Modi & Geetanjali Gems in a case related to fraud in PNB, the directorate said in a tweet.
The Congress said that the PMO acknowledged the complaint but the PMO, the Finance Minister and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) did not act firmly on the complaint to stop the designer-businessman from fleeing India.
" There are speculative reports that Priyanka Chopra has sued Nirav Modi. The stock worth Rs 5100 crore including gold & diamond jewellery, precious stones etc recovered during the searches were seized under PMLA", the agency said in a statement.
The CBI sources said that after receiving a complaint from Punjab National Bank on January 29, the agency filed a case against Nirav Modi and others on January 31 and issued Look Out Circulars (LoCs) against him, his wife Ami, brother Nishal and uncle Mehul Choksi the same day.
"Who is protecting Nirav Modi/Mehul Chokshi?"