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Fraudulent transactions worth Rs 11500 crore detected from PNB's Mumbai branch

14 February 2018

Punjab National Bank today said it has detected a United States dollars 1.77 billion (about Rs 11,400 crore) scam where billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi allegedly acquired fraudulent letters of undertaking from a branch in Mumbai to secure overseas credit from other Indian lenders.

PNB has found some high amount of fraud and illegal transactions in its Mumbai branch and this all was done to provide the benefit to few account holders with the conspiracy. "Based on these transactions, other banks appear to have advanced money to these customers overseas", PNB said in a notice sent to the stock exchanges on February 14.The matter has been referred to law enforcement agencies.

It is understood that the ED also went through the PNB complaint that was made out against Modi and others.

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No official comments were available from the agency on the issue or the nature of the transaction. Although PNB did not name the people involved, it said that "The matter was already referred to law enforcement agencies to examine and book the culprits as per law of the land".

The finance ministry on Wednesday sought to allay worries over the Rs 11,300-crore fraud at Punjab National Bank, saying the case not "out-of-control" and it is taking action. PNB shares are now trading 4% lower, having fallen as much as 7.8% intraday, reportedly wiping out almost Rs 3,000 crore of investor wealth in the bargain.

The trading patterns of the companies as well as their senior officials who have come under the lens would also be looked into by the regulator, they added.

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An LoU is a letter of comfort issued by one bank to branches of other banks, based on which foreign branches offer credit to buyers.

On Wednesday, the CBI received two fresh complaints from PNB against Modi and a jewellery company alleging fraudulent transactions worth about Rs 11,400 crore.

The bank was hit with charges of fraudulent transactions last week after investigators started a probe into said billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi over accusations that he and others defrauded the bank of $44 million, Reuters reported.

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Fraudulent transactions worth Rs 11500 crore detected from PNB's Mumbai branch