Economy

Govt looked other way when Nirav Modi slipped out of India: Congress

Govt looked other way when Nirav Modi slipped out of India: Congress

The ED also filed money laundering case against Nirav Modi and raided multiple locations related to Him in Surat, Mumbai and Delhi on Thursday.

Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the authorities had seized assets worth 13 billion rupees ($203 million) from Modi and initiated action to revoke his passport.

A finance ministry official said the Enforcement Directorate, a government agency that fights financial crime, would investigate the case to see whether it involved money laundering.

The bank has claimed in three complaints to the CBI that so far it has detected 150 letters of undertaking or LoUs that were fraudulently issued by its officials in connivance with Nirav and the other accused in the case, the officials said.

Punjab National Bank (PNB) has detected fraudulent transactions of over Rs10,000 crore ($1.7 billion) in one of its branches in Mumbai, the bank informed the stock exchanges on Wednesday.

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In a stinging attack, Congress dubbed Nirav Modi as the "Chhota Modi' and flashed a group photograph of him and other Indian businessmen with the prime minister during the recent World Economic Forum meeting in Davos in January".

India's second largest state-run bank has uncovered a $1.8bn (£1.3bn) scam linked to a single Mumbai branch. The main accused is Nirav Modi, born into a family of diamond merchants where the empire spread across continents.

In order to understand Punjab National Bank scam first, we need to know what are these terms LoU, SWIFT and CBS in the banking system. The official complaint says Modi, along with his wife, brother and business partner, worked with a pair of bank employees to get the letters.

Reports say that Nirav Modi is now in Switzerland. However, lawyers said that the liability to pay foreign branches of banks rests with PNB. Meanwhile, shares of PNB Housing too slipped 1,36 per cent to a low of Rs 1,182.60.

Modi, along with other co-accused in the fraud, is absconding from India and the Central Bureau of Investigation issued a Look Out Circular against the four January 31.

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All left the country in early January, before the alleged fraud was uncovered, the Press Trust of India news agency reported, quoting unidentified officials.

"While investigation process is on, 10 officers/employees were suspended on account their suspected involvement in the fraud".

The PNB scam has affected other Indian banks, according to media reports, because these banks had lent money on the basis of Letter of Understanding (LoU) issued by PNB.

"I wish to make it very clear, and this I can also convey on behalf of the Government, that those who sought to derail the ordinary banking system to help Nirav shall not be spared".

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