PNB fraud: CBI court issues warrants against Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi

They have refused to join CBI probe, which now covers overseas branches

April 08, 2018 05:23 pm | Updated December 01, 2021 12:23 pm IST - New Delhi

 Mehul Choksi (left) and his nephew Nirav Modi (right) are accused in the over $2 billion Punjab National Bank fraud. File

Mehul Choksi (left) and his nephew Nirav Modi (right) are accused in the over $2 billion Punjab National Bank fraud. File

A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court has issued non-bailable warrants against absconding diamond merchants Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, accused of defrauding the Punjab National Bank (PNB), the country’s second largest lender, of over ₹13,500 crore.

The NBW was issued by the court on Saturday after the agency said the duo did not respond to two summons issued against them. Both Mr. Modi and Mr. Choksi have refused to join the CBI probe so far, citing business commitments and health issues.

“The special court in Mumbai has allowed our application and has issued non-bailable warrants (or NBWs) against both Mr. Modi and Mr. Choksi,” a senior CBI officer confirmed on Sunday.

For Interpol notices

The issuance of these warrants will enable the investigating agencies to request the Interpol to issue Red Corner Notices against them.

A request for Mr. Modi’s provisional arrest had been sent to Hong Kong on March 23.

On March 3, the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court had issued a NBW against the two. The court order came after the duo did not respond to three summons issued to them and did not appear before the designated court.

Mr. Modi, Mr. Choksi and associates of their companies, as well as retired and serving PNB officials, were booked by the CBI and the ED after the bank disclosed that fraudulent Letters of Undertaking worth about ₹12,700 crore were issued to overseas branches of Indian public sector banks by its officials in favour of the diamond traders’ companies.

Meanwhile, the CBI has widened the scope of its investigation beyond Indian borders.

The CBI has now started inquiries with employees of the overseas branches of the Indian banks to which the LoUs were issued. “We are making inquiries with officers of the overseas branches of the banks that extended credit facilities on the basis on LoUs issued by the PNB to Mr. Modi and Mr. Choksi's firms. The officer who dealt with foreign exchange in the Hong Kong Branch of Allahabad Bank has been summoned and is being questioned,” said the officer.

Last week, Mr. Modi’s ‘close associate’ and vice-president of a firm Shyam Sunder Wadhwa was sent to judicial custody and Gokulnath Shetty, a retired deputy manager at PNB, who is said to have facilitated the fraudulent LoUs’ issuance, was sent to custody of the Enforcement Directorate.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.