CBI files charge sheet against Choksi, ex-PNB MD in USD 2 bn scam case

May 17, 2018 12:00 PM

Punjab News Express/ SK.Vyas
NEW DELHI : The Central Bureau of Investigation has today filed a charge sheet u/s 120-B r/w 409 & 420 of IPC & Sec 13(2) r/w 13(1) (c) & (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and substantive offences thereof against a Managing Director of Mumbai based private company & his three companies (including gems and jewellery) based at Mumbai; their four employees/associates, and 10 officials of the Punjab National Bank including the then MD & CEO, two Executive Directors & one General Manager in the Court of Special Judge, CBI cases, Mumbai on the allegations of committing a fraud of Rs.7080.86 crore (approx) perpetrated on the Punjab National Bank.

CBI had registered the case on 15.02.2018 against a Managing Director of a private company based at Walkeshwar, Mumbai; three Mumbai based private companies; 10 Directors of three private companies based at various places including Mumbai, Pune, Coimbatore(Tamil Nadu); then Deputy Manager(now Retired) of Punjab National Bank; another official and unknown public servants & others on a complaint dated 13.02.2018 received from Punjab National Bank. It was alleged that the accused persons had hatched a criminal conspiracy amongst themselves and had defrauded the Punjab National Bank to the tune of Rs. 7080.86 crores (approx) by fraudulently issuing Letters of Undertaking to overseas banks for obtaining Buyer’s Credit and also issuing Foreign Letters of Credit in favor of the three companies of said Managing Director without any sanctioned limit or cash margin & without making entries in the CBS system of the bank. During the investigation, CBI conducted searches at 52 premises and arrested several persons. A large number of witnesses were examined and voluminous documents were also collected.

Investigation revealed that, during the period from 2015 to 2017, the accused officials of the Punjab National Bank, in criminal conspiracy with said Managing Director and others had fraudulently issued a large number of Los for obtaining Buyer’s Credit and FLCs to overseas banks in favour of the said three companies without any sanctioned limit or cash margin & without making entries in the CBS system of the bank. The investigation further revealed that the fraud was allegedly perpetrated despite the knowledge of senior officials of Punjab National Bank, who did not implement the circulars and caution notices issued by the Reserve Bank of India regarding safeguarding the SWIFT operations and instead, misrepresented the factual situation to RBI. It was also revealed that the then Deputy Manager of Punjab National Bank, Brady House, Mumbai had allegedly obtained illegal gratification from a said group company in return for the favor of issuing fraudulent LOUs and FLCs.

CBI files Charge sheet against:

1) Gokulnath Shetty, the then Dy. Manager, Punjab National Bank, MCB, Brady House, Mumbai 2) Manoj Hanumat Karat, SWO, Punjab National Bank MCB, Brady House, Mumbai 3) M/s Gitanjali Gems Ltd 4) M/s Gili India Ltd 5) M/s Nakshtra Brand Ltd 6) Mehul Chinubhai Choksi, MD of M/s Gitanjali Gems Ltd 7) Shri Aniyath Shivaraman Nair, Employee/Associate of the company 8) Shri Nitin Sahi, Employee/Associate of the company 9) Kapil Kandelwal, Employee/Associate of the company 10) Vipul Chunilal Chitalia, Employee/Associate of the company 11) Bechu Bansi Tiwari of Punjab National Bank 12) Shri Yashwant Trimbak Joshi of Punjab National Bank 13) Prafful Prakash Sawant of Punjab National Bank 14) Mohinder Kumar Bakshi Ram Sharma of Punjab National Bank 15) Smt. Usha Ananthasubramanian, the then MD & CEO, Punjab National Bank 16) Shri K.V. Brahmaji Rao, ED, Punjab National Bank 17) Sanjiv Sharan, ED, Punjab National Bank 18) Nehal Ahad, GM, International Banking Division, Punjab National Bank

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