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PNB files complaint with CBI alleging Rs114 billion fraud

Billionaire Modi, whose jewellery creations are popular among global celebrities, may face a fresh CBI probe

Gulf News

New Delhi: The CBI has received two complaints from the Punjab National Bank (PNB) against billionaire diamantaire Nirav Modi and a jewellery company alleging fraudulent transactions worth about Rs114 billion (Dh6.5 billion), officials said on Wednesday.

Modi, whose jewellery creations are popular among global celebrities, may face a fresh CBI probe as the agency is looking at suitable legal action to be taken in the case.

He is already being investigated by the CBI for alleged cheating and fraud involving Rs2.8 billion at a PNB branch, the officials said.

They said it had received two complaints from the PNB on Tuesday, in which it was alleged that the bank had spotted fraudulent transactions worth over Rs114 billion involving Modi and a jewellery company.

The officials, without divulging the future course of action on the complaints from the national bank, said suitable legal action could be initiated against the designer and the company after the agency had vetted the complaint.

It was not immediately clear whether the jewellery company mentioned in the complaints was linked to Modi.

Meanwhile, the bank had also intimated stock exchange BSE about the “fraudulent and unauthorised” transactions worth more than $1.7 billion in one of its branches in Mumbai.

In its filing at the BSE, the PNB said the bank had detected some fraudulent and unauthorised transactions in a Mumbai branch.

“Based on these transactions other banks appear to have advanced money to these customers abroad,” it said, adding that the matter had been referred to law enforcement agencies to examine the case and book the culprits.

The intimation did not say if these transactions were linked to Modi.

The officials in the agency, however, confirmed that the transactions cited by the bank in its complaint were linked to Modi and a jewellery company, whose name they have withheld.

No official comments were available from the agency on the issue or the nature of the transaction.

The designer, himself a celebrity, grew up in Belgium’s Antwerp — the diamond capital of the world — and started his own brand by the name of “Nirav Modi”.

His name first appeared in a CBI case earlier this month after the agency registered a case against him and Mehul Choski, who runs a jewellery and gem store chain with the brand name Gitanjali, for alleged cheating and forgery worth Rs2.8 billion a complaint from the public sector bank, PNB.

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