The Ministry of External Affairs on Friday suspended the passports of diamantaire Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi after the advice of Enforcement Directorate. The passports have been suspended for a period of four weeks. The duo have been asked to respond within a week as to why their passports should not be impounded or revoked under the Passports Act 1967.
The investigation agencies, banks, and now Interpol (International Criminal Police Organisation) - all agencies and institutions have tightened the noose around billionaire diamantaire Nirav Modi, who's at the heart of the Rs 11,400-crore 'fraud' detected at Punjab National Bank's (PNB) Mumbai branch. The first complaint against Nirav Modi's company was filed on January 29, but he and his family had already fled the country on January 1.
Now that the 'fraud' is out in the open, the PNB has fired its 18 employees, and the government has promised not to "spare anyone". The Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have raided several properties of Nirav Modi and his alleged accomplices, including his family members and business partner Mehul Choksi, the owner of diamond jewellery brand Gitanjali Gems, and have sealed diamond, gold, jewellery, and precious stones worth over Rs 5,100 crore. Though Nirav Modi has reportedly assured the PNB authorities to repay the entire money, he has been asked to come up with a concrete plan.
10.23pm: Nirav Modi, who left India about over a month ago along with his family, is living in a posh hotel in New York's South Central Park, reports Mirror Now. Reports suggest he may be living there with his family.
9.21pm: The CBI Says PNB complaint to it said that Mehul Choksi and his companies caused a loss of Rs 4,886 crore to the bank, reports CNBC-TV 18.
8.15pm: The Reserve Bank of India says it has directed Punjab National Bank (PNB) to meet its commitments under the Letter of Undertaking (LOU) to other banks. "RBI denies having given any such instructions," says the statement.
8.00pm: "The fraud in PNB is a case of operational risk arising on account of delinquent behaviour by one or more employees of the bank and failure of internal controls. The RBI has already undertaken a supervisory assessment of control systems in PNB, and will take appropriate supervisory action," says the RBI.
7.38pm: The ED registers another case against Nirav Modi on Friday. Both Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi summoned by the ED to appear before its Mumbai Office on 23rd February, reports ANI
Total locations raided: 35
Searches held in states: 11
Total seizure: Rs 5,700 crore
7.35pm: After today's searches, total seizure from Nirav Modi's property amounts to Rs 5,700 crore, reports India Today
7.21pm: AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has asked the Modi government to give specific timeline to bring back Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi to India.
BJP govt shud give specific timelines by when will they bring Vijay Mallya and Neerav Modi back to India. By when will the money be recovered from them?
- Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 16, 2018
6.56pm: Jewellery traders fear that after the Rs 11,400-crore bank fraud involving billionaire Nirav Modi, the banks would now be more cautious, which would hurt their credit flow, reports Firstpost. They urged in light of the fraud, the entire industry should not be branded as 'risky' industry.
6.10pm: The Income Tax (I-T) officials issues fresh notice to Nirav Modi.
5.33pm: Nirav Modi's passport has been suspended, he can't go anywhere from the place he is right now. "Woh jis country mein hain wahi rahenge, passport suspend hone ke baad woh kahi nahi ja sakte," says MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.
5.29pm: Former Banking Secretary Rajiv Takru says he met ex-Allahabad Bank Director Dinesh Dubey only once in his life. "I met this person only once in my life. He had come to my office to resign in 2013. Reason behind resignation was that he was unhappy over something. I accepted his resignation. I have never spoken to him," he told the ANI.
5.23pm: Nirav Modi was not a part of the PM Modi delegation to Davos, says Raveesh Kumar, MEA spokesperson, adding that the 'picture' that's being circulated was part of an informal session with CEOs who register for the event on their own. "It was an impromptu picture."
5.13pm: PNB Managing Director Sunil Mehta was the general manager at the Allahabad bank at the time when I highlighted the Mehul Choksi issue in 2013, former Allahabad Bank Director Dinesh Dubey tells India Today. "I had asked the management to first recover the previous loan from Gitanjali Gem before releasing fresh loan, but I was told this needed to be done order to stop NPAs and to run banks."
5.00pm: Union Minister Prakash Javadekar says this is a fraud that happened during the UPA government. "This came to light when we decided to revive the entire banking system, after which this entire scam came to light. So, it's UPA's scam that has been brought to light by the BJP government."
It is the alertness of the NDA govt which has brought this scam into light. All the NPAs, the wrongful distribution of loans, amongst others were all passed down to us by the UPA Govt. This is a scam by the bank & not the govt: Prakash Javadekar #PNBFraudCasepic.twitter.com/APu2VycPu4- ANI (@ANI) February 16, 2018
4.50pm: The entire banking system had falled during the UPA. The scam remained under the carpet between 2011 and 2014, and it came to light after the NDA government tightened the banking norms, says Javadekar.
4.46pm: This is the 'banking fraud' not the 'government fraud'. We, on the other hand, allowed all the enforcement agencies to speed-up the investigation. We have also confiscated his properties worth over Rs 5,100 crore, says Javadekar.
4.45pm: Former CBI director AP Singh says it could take months and years to track Nirav Modi's overseas money trail.
4.41pm: Congress president Rahul Gandhi's official Twitter handle has defined the current 'bank fraud' through an equation, calling it an escape formula.
Following the money trail is very difficult especially if it goes overseas as you have multiple transactions and for each transaction you have to send a letter rogatory, it can take months and even years: AP Singh,former CBI director on #PNBFraudCase#NiravModipic.twitter.com/x5AQwxyMdQ- ANI (@ANI) February 16, 2018
4.40pm: Dinesh says the scandal that started during the time of the UPA has not grown 50-times. "UPA Sarkar se chala hua aaya kand aaj NDA sarkar mein 10 guna, 50 guna badh gaya," says Dinesh Dubey.
The scamster's escape formula:
Na(Mo)- Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) February 16, 2018
La(Mo) + Ni(Mo) -----> Bha(Go)#ModiRobsIndia
4.33pm: According to ANI, former Allahabad Bank Director Dinesh Dubey says he had sent a dissent note against providing a loan to Gitanjali Gems to the government and the RBI in 2013 but to no avail.
4.28pm: Under the Modi government's new scheme 'Udaan', every scamster can fly undetected, says Congress.
I had sent a dissent note against #GitanjaliGems to the Govt and RBI in 2013 but to no avail, I was directed that this loan has to be approved, I was being pressurized so I resigned: Dinesh Dubey,former Allahabad Bank Director pic.twitter.com/yMqxiYWw7X- ANI (@ANI) February 16, 2018
4.22pm: The bank fraud scam could total around Rs 30,000 crore, says Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.
If all the layers of this scam are opened up, the scam will go up to Rs 30,000 Crore. Modi govt's new buzz word 'Udaan' has found a new meaning - 'every scamster can flee & fly undetected & unchecked: Randeep Surjewala, Congress #PNBFraudCasepic.twitter.com/fhL5cYkmIZ- ANI (@ANI) February 16, 2018
Has India's biggest 'Bank Loot Scam' touched ₹30,000 Cr? What is Modi Govt whitewashing? #ModiRobsIndia
Pl wait for AICC Press Conf. At 4 PM?- Randeep S Surjewala (@rssurjewala) February 16, 2018
4.02pm: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data, which Reuters obtained through a right-to-information request, shows state-run banks have reported 8,670 "loan fraud" cases totalling Rs 612.6 billion ($9.58 billion) over the last five financial years up to March 31, 2017.
3:24pm: Rs 4,900 crore unaccounted funds found during raids on Nirav Modi properties.
2.35pm: The ministry of external affairs has suspended the validity of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi's passports for four weeks.
2.00pm: The shares of Gitanjali Gems tank another 20% in morning trade after the detection of Punjab National Bank's Rs 11,400-crore fraud. Gitanjali Gems is one of the companies charged by investigating agencies for colluding with Nirav Modi in carrying out the fraud.
1.55pm: Finance Ministry sources tell ANI that over 50 companies with links to Nirav Modi will be raided by the CBI, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), and the Income Tax Department.
1.50pm: The FIR filed by CBI includes more 143 Letters of Undertaking (LoU) and 224 foreign letters of credit.
- How big is this fraud, really? How many other banks have experienced this kind of fraud? We will not know until 30 other banks investigate.
- Why are PNB's core banking system and SWIFT system not integrated? Most banks have integrated them.
- This isn't the first fraud against LOUs and buyers' credit. Why has government failed to stop the malpractices against this?
- Timing is crucial. January 23, the day Nirav Modi appeared for photo-op with PM Narendra Modi in Davos, didn't the PNB, the RBI and investigating agencies know about this fraud? After all, the PNB approached the CBI with fraud investigation just give days later on January 29?
- How many LOUs had been issued to Nirav Modi since 2010? How did it get undetected for seven years? What did Nirav Modi do with the money?
- What is Mehul Choksi's role in this? Was Nirav Modi round-tripping the money? Paying one buyers' credit from money raised against another?
- How did Gokulnath Shetty stay in the same job for seven years against the PSU banks' rule of transferring desk and branch every three years?
- Every such transaction requires three levels of checks: maker, checker, and verifier. Who is the third person involved? Who are other supervisors involved?
- Where is Nirav Modi?
- Where are Gokulnath Shetty and Manoj Kharat? Who else is involved?