A massive fraud of Rs 11, 400 crore at Punjab National Bank or PNB by its own officials has landed India's second largest bank in a huge controversy. The PNB fraud came to limelight on February 14 after the bank complained to the CBI that its own officials violated rules and put out illegal guarantee documents to help celebrity jeweller Nirav Modi secure credit from banks abroad. PNB is now making attempts to recover the dues from the jeweller who fled the country last month. Two central agencies - the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) - are investigating the matter. Raids have also been conducted on Nirav Modi's firms and jewellery, luxury cars, watches and other assets have been seized; property, bank accounts associated with him have also been attached.
Here's the timeline of the PNB Scam Involving Celebrity Jeweller Nirav Modi:
January 29, 2018: Deputy General Manager of PNB's Mumbai branch, Avineesh Nepalia, complains to the CBI, saying that some of its officials were causing loss to the bank and eight fraud Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) amounting to Rs 280 crore were issued for Hong Kong-based banks.
January 31, 2018: Income Tax officials raid celebrity jeweller Nirav Modi's offices in Delhi, Surat and Jaipur which were allegedly under I-T department's scanner.
February 5, 2018: The CBI charges billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi in a multi-crore cheating case. It registers a First Information Report (FIR) for criminal conspiracy and cheating against Nirav Modi, his brother Nishal, wife Ami and Mehul Chinubhai Chowski of Diamond R and Stellar Diamonds, for causing a loss of Rs 280 crore.
February 14, 2018: PNB complains to the CBI about celebrity jeweller Nirav Modi alleging multi-crore fraud. The complaint says that about Rs 11,000 crore of taxpayers' money had been illegally transferred abroad from its branch in Mumbai. Punjab National Bank said that its own officials violated rules and put out illegal guarantee documents to help the celebrity jeweller secure credit from banks abroad.
February 15, 2018: CBI searches Nirav Modi's home, showrooms and offices in Mumbai, Delhi and Surat. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) seizes diamonds, jewellery and gold worth Rs. 5,100 crore. Nirav Modi, his wife and uncle Mehul Choksi left the country in the first week of January, inform officials.
February 16, 2018: The bank again approaches the CBI giving details of more transactions. PNB detected 150 Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) which were fraudulently issued by its officials in connivance with Nirav Modi and the other accused in the case, officials said.
CBI raids Gitanjali Group owned by Nirav Modi's uncle Mehul Choksi in connection with the PNB fraud.
The Income Tax Department Friday provisionally attaches 29 properties and 105 bank accounts of the diamond merchant, his family and firms as part of its tax evasion probe.
The CBI asks Interpol for help to arrest Nirav Modi.
February 17, 2018: Government suspends passports of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi for four weeks in connection with the PNB fraud..
February 18, 2018: CBI questions Punjab National Bank (PNB) officials and conducts searches at its Brady House branch in Mumbai in connection with the Rs 11, 400 crore PNB fraud.
February 19: CBI summons Nirav Modi's Chief Financial Officer and seals Mumbai's PNB branch.
February 20, 2018: A letter that Nirav Modi wrote to the Punjab National Bank management on February 15/16 came out. In the letter, he pegged the money his companies owe to the bank at under Rs. 5,000 crore. The crackdown has jeopardised his company's ability to discharge the dues of the group to the banks, he wrote.
Nirav Modi's lawyer Vijay Aggarwal said that all transactions with PNB were documented and allegations made by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) were completely wrong.
CBI arrests three more employees of the Punjab National Bank over the Rs 11,400 crore loan fraud case involving celebrity jeweller Nirav Modi.
February 21, 2018: CBI arrests Vipul Ambani, CFO of Nirav Modi's firm and two other senior executives of Nirav Modi's firms. It also seals Nirav Modi's farmhouse in Alibaug.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) continues raids at Nirav modi's firms and seizes assets worth Rs 10 crore. The tax department said it has attached a total of 141 bank accounts and fixed deposits worth Rs 145.74 crore of the Nirav Modi group. The total value of gems and gold jewellery seized by the ED stands at Rs 5,736 crore.
CBI arrests Rajesh Jindai, a General Manager-rank officer of PNB, posted at the head office in New Delhi, who was the head of the Brady House branch of PNB during 2009-11.
February 22, 2018: A special court in Mumbai remands Vipul Ambani, the president (finance) of Nirav Modi's Fire Star Diamond, and five others in CBI custody till March 5.
PNB asks billionaire diamond jeweller Nirav Modi to come up with a concrete and implementable plan to settle the loss caused to it.
February 23, 2018: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) seizes over 10,000 imported watches from several locations connected to Nirav Modi. It also attaches 21 properties, including a penthouse and a farmhouse, of Nirav Modi and his group worth over Rs 523 crore.
February 24, 2018: The government has cancelled passports of celebrity diamond designer Nirav Modi and uncle Mehul Choksi.
February 27, 2018: A magistrate's court issues a bailable arrest warrant against diamond trader Nirav Modi.
February 28, 2018: Firestar Diamond Inc, the flagship company of Nirav Modi, files for bankruptcy in the United States.
The CBI or Central Bureau of Investigation had emailed Nirav Modi on his official ID asking him to join investigations. In his reply, the jeweller says that since he has businesses abroad, he will not be able to join the investigation.