The Punjab National Bank (PNB), it seems, is leaving no stone unturned to recover the dues which have been classified as NPAs. The second largest public sector lender is soliciting services of detective agencies to get hold of absconding loan defaulters.
The significant move comes amid reports that diamantaire Nirav Modi may be hiding in New York. The celebrity jeweller who owns Firestar Diamond is the main accused in the Rs 13,700-crore fraud at the Punjab National Bank.
In an advertisement posted on the PNB's website, the bank lists out locating 'untraceable' loan borrower(s), guarantor(s), mortgagor(s) and their legal heirs both within and outside India as one of the objectives of PNB's latest policy on engagement of detective agencies.
The hired sleuths will be tasked with ascertaining leads on the whereabouts of NPA defaulters who are not available at the addresses given in the bank's records.
The empanelled agencies will submit their report along with the supporting papers, photographs, audio/video recording. Detectives are also expected to dig into details such as their current occupation, businesses, income streams, assets, bank accounts maintained by the defaulting borrowers and guarantor, including their legal heirs.
However, there is one critical condition for detective agencies vying for this job. The private detective firm must be member of 'Association of Private Detectives & Investigators' of India or APDI. Another important eligibility criteria is that the agency must also have minimum 3 years of experience.
The detective agency will be paid up to Rs 30,000 for giving information on the whereabouts of the absconding borrowers and guarantors. In a bid to find other properties owned by such loan defaulters, PNB said it will pay a fees of up to Rs 1.5 lakh for locating properties other than details of which are available in the bank's records.
The hired detective agencies will also inform the bank on whether the defaulter has availed credit facilities from other banks.
Moreover, to protect the bank from any legal wrangle, PNB said that the hired agency shall not resort to use of coercive methods or commit any wrongful act or offence against person or property of the borrowers, guarantors or any other liable parties, while collecting the information.
The private detective agency will also gather any other information which the PNB cannot access by utilizing normal channels like CIBIL/internet/local enquiries and which may be considered necessary by the bank for recovery of the dues, the advertisement policy stated.
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