Days after Punjab National Bank (PNB) said that its Brady House branch in Mumbai was involved in a fraud of over Rs 11,400 crore, questions have been raised over the conduct of bank officials who granted Nirav Modi's firms LoUs without due diligence. While the theories on how India's biggest banking scam was executed are abound, the CBI has reportedly indicated that Nirav Modi's associates had access to PNB's computers.
According to a report in Business Standard, the two PNB staffers who are now under the Central Bureau of Investigation's (CBI) custody have revealed that Nirav Modi's team was given 'unauthorised access' to PNB's computer systems for a 'commission' on every Letter of Understanding (LoU) issued.
On Saturday, CBI had arrested a retired and a serving officials of Punjab National Bank and an executive of Nirav Modi's company - in connection with the alleged Rs 11,400-crore fraud, and carried out searches at the Brady Road branch of the bank in Mumbai, officials said.
Those arrested include PNB's former deputy manager Gokulnath Shetty, the bank's single window operator Manoj Kharat, and Nirav Modi's accountant Hemant Bhat. A special court had remanded all the three accused to 14-day CBI custody.
During interrogation, the arrested bank officials revealed that Nirav Modi's aides were logging into the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) system using passwords of PNB officials, including Shetty, in the capacity of verifier/authoriser and enabling the fraudulent SWIFT messages, the report quoted a CBI source as saying.
The accused have revealed names of at least half a dozen more PNB employees who were involved in the scam, it said.
The accused bank staffers were allegedly demanding commission on every LoU for unauthorised access and SWIFT password to the Nirav Modi's firms. The amount was divided among the PNB employees involved in the fraud, the report said.