Addressing a press conference day after Punjab National Bank detected Rs 11,500 crore bank fraud, the bank management assured that it’s trying its best to take action against the alleged offenders.PNB Chief has confirmed that Nirav Modi wrote to them regarding the repayment plan. “Nirav Modi has written to us on a repayment plan,” said Sunil Mehta, MD & CEO of Punjab National Bank. Billionaire diamond jeweller Nirav Modi’s firms – Diamond R US, Solar Exports, and Stellar Diamonds – have been accused of presenting a set of import documents to the branch, with a request to allow buyers’ credit for paying suppliers situated overseas, and apparently conniving with two of the bank employees to access the credit based on the fake LOUs. Sharing some of the investigation details, PNB management said, “We detected the fraud in the third week of January this year and approached CBI on 29 January. Thereafter, an FIR was booked against the alleged culprits on 13 February.” The bank was the first one to detect and report it to the government agencies which shows and based on which raids are being conducted today on whereabouts of culprits. PNB is committed to clean and responsible banking, the bank management said.
Unwilling to share much details about the ongoing investigation due to the sensitivity of the matter, Sunil Mehta said that we are working on modalities and it’s too mature to comment on anything as investigation, hence we want to be careful. “We don’t want to affect liabilities of different stakeholders by speaking much on issue at present. Please give us some breathing time to protect financial interests of banks and to do it successfully,” he added. He also said that the bank will honour all its bonafide commitments and have taken joint consortium of banks in loop.
The alleged fraudulent transactions were reported to benefit a few account holders in apparent connivance of the some of the bank employees. Letters of Undertakings (LoUs) were fraudulently issued by two of the bank employees and instructions by Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) were transmitted to the overseas branches of the other Indian banks to raise credit for buyers for companies of diamond jeweller Nirav Modi without making any entry in the account books, PNB informed Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) yesterday.