Nostro accounts under scrutiny: CBI writes to vigilance officers of 5 banks

People in queue outside an ATM of Punjab National Bank in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

The Central Bureau of Investigation has written to the chief vigilance officers of five banks seeking details of the financial transactions made through the Nostro accounts of the Punjab National Bank (PNB), in connection with the cases against diamond merchants Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.

Nostro accounts refer to a bank’s overseas accounts in other banks. The said transactions, as part of the alleged fraudulent Letters of Undertaking (LoU) issued by the PNB’s Brady House branch in Mumbai, were with the overseas branches of the State Bank of India, Bank of India, Canara Bank, Allahabad Bank and the Axis Bank.


PNB executive director Brahmaji Rao was questioned for the third consecutive day on Monday. “We are also questioning the statutory auditors of the bank,” a CBI official. Statutory auditors are appointed by the Reserve Bank of India to check the reliability of the financial statements of public sector banks.

The agency has also got lookout circulars issued against over 10 senior executives of the companies belonging to Mr. Modi and Mr. Choksi. “At this stage, it is not clear when they left the country. Efforts are under way to trace them,” said the official.


On Monday, the agency examined three PNB general managers, posted with the international banking and treasury divisions. Two of them received daily reports on Nostro account transactions.

CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma has instructed the officials to ensure that the investigation is concluded within a given time frame, said spokesperson Abhishek Dayal.

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Printable version | Jul 20, 2021 3:16:44 AM |

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