SFIO summons ICICI, Axis Bank CEOs in connection with PNB fraud

SFIO summons ICICI, Axis Bank CEOs in connection with PNB fraud

SFIO summons ICICI, Axis Bank CEOs in connection with PNB fraud

Soon after the exposure of the PNB scam, Axis Bank had stated that while it had in the past done transactions against PNBs authenticated letters of undertakings, the private sector lender had since sold down all the referred transactions.

On February 27, the CBI questioned ICICI Bank Executive Director NS Kanan in connection with the alleged Rs 12,700 crore fraud against PNB by Nirav Modi and Gitanjali Gem's owner Mehul Choksi. ICICI Bank alone had given Rs 405 crore loan to Gitanjali Gems. "Bank has no exposure in the Nirav Modi group of companies nor has the bank issued any letters of undertaking nor has any buyer's credit exposure against LoUs with either Nirav modi group or the Gitanjali group". As part of the investigation, the SFIO has issued summons to heads of over 30 banks that have exposure to companies of diamond traders Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi. These summons have been issued in connection to loans granted to Gitanjali Group.

Chanda Kochhar's ICICI Bank was the lead banker in the working capital loan extended to Gitanjali by a consortium of 31 banks. The National Company Law Tribunal has also allowed the government to attach 64 properties belonging to individuals as well as companies that are part of groups headed by Modi and Choksi to prevent the accused from alienating as well as creating any third-party interest in any of the properties.

"In the normal course of trade business, the bank, through the overseas branches, undertakes transactions against LoUs (Letters of Undertaking) issued by other banks".

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SFIO has also summoned the PNB managing director Sunil Mehta for recording of his statement in the case.

Earlier, a senior official of the ICICI Bank was summoned to the CBI office in Mumbai. Both of them have been accused of being in the centre of the Rs 11,400 bank fraud.

"Vipul Chitalia was picked up for questioning", a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) official in Delhi told IANS. "Some of the banks have already started replying", said an ED official. The other details about Chitalia's alleged role in the PNB fraud were not revealed.

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