CBI Asks Interpol To Help Arrest Nirav Modi Who Is In New York: 10 Facts

The raids on Nirav Modi, followed PNB's complaint that it had been cheated of around Rs 11,300 crore of taxpayer's money by Nirav Modi.

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PNB Fraud Case: Nirav Modi's multiple properties were raided in connection with the case

New Delhi:  The CBI today asked Interpol for help to arrest celebrity jeweller Nirav Modi, who is being investigated for what is emerging as India's biggest bank fraud. Nirav Modi and his associates are accused of getting Punjab National Bank (PNB) officials to facilitate huge loans using fake guarantees, at the cost of Rs 11,300 crore in public money. The passports of Nirav Modi and his business associate Mehul Choksi have been suspended and could be cancelled if they do not return to India within four weeks. As investigators seek his arrest, NDTV has traced the 48-year-old to a hotel in New York.
Here are the 10 latest developments in this big story:
  1. Raids on Nirav Modi will continue until investigators can seize enough to cover the PNB swindle, sources have told NDTV. In searches since yesterday, the Enforcement Directorate found diamonds, jewellery and gold worth over Rs. 5,600 crore.
  2. The CBI today widened the probe and raided the Gitanjali group of firms led by Nirav Modi's uncle Mehul Choksi. The agency filed a new case against the Gitanjali group alleging a $763 million (Rs 4,911.43 crores) fraud.
  3. The scam exploded after a PNB official from Mumbai filed a criminal complaint on January 29 against three companies and four people, including Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.
  4. The bank alleged that two junior employees at one branch in Mumbai had helped the companies and people managing them get "letters of undertaking" (LoUs) without having a sanctioned credit limit or maintaining funds "on margin". The LOUs were used to obtain short-term credit from overseas branches of other Indian banks.
  5. Based on the complaint, the CBI registered a preliminary case against the companies and the people named by PNB. Earlier this week, India's second biggest government bank told the CBI that the amount was closer to a staggering Rs 11,300 crore.
  6. PNB was alerted to the mega-fraud when on January 16 a group of companies linked to Nirav Modi presented a set of import documents to the Mumbai branch and requested buyers' credit to pay overseas suppliers. 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 or guarantees. The companies argued that they had used such facilities in the past without keeping any money on margin. The PNB then scanned through records and found no trace of any transactions.
  7. It emerged that two employees had issued LOUs without entering the transactions on the bank's own system. Such transactions went on for years without detection, PNB said. Banking sources quoted by Reuters say in some banks the SWIFT system used for international transactions, and the core banking system, work independently of each other. In PNB's case, the outstanding LoUs were not available on the core banking system, so went undetected.
  8. Nirav Modi and the others left India in the first week of January, long before the CBI filed a case. The agency put out a lookout notice against the four on February 3 or 4. The billionaire's exit has fueled political sparring with the Congress drawing comparisons with Vijay Mallya's flight out of India.
  9. Nirav Modi, whose designs have been worn by stars in India as well as abroad, was recently seen in a group photo in Davos with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  10. Reuters, in an exclusive report based on Right To Information data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), says state-run banks have reported 8,670 "loan fraud" cases totalling Rs. 612.6 billion over the last five financial years up to March 31, 2017.


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Highlights

1
Their passports could be cancelled if they don't return within four weeks
2
The CBI has also contacted the Interpol to track down Nirav Modi
3
The billionaire left India on January 1, before the bank scam exploded

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