PNB scam: CBI initiates probe against Gitanjali Group

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday initiated a probe, in connection with the loan given to celebrity jeweller Nirav Modi’s uncle and business partner, Mehul Choksi-led Gitanjali Group, by a 31-bank consortium.

Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi

The loan amounts to Rs. 5,280 crores and the consortium was led by the ICICI Bank.

Earlier on April 6, the Delhi High Court issued a notice to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on a plea made by Gitanjali Gems, which sought quashing of a money laundering case against the company.

The court has asked for a reply from the enforcement agency by April 11.

On a related note, the CBI, earlier in the day questioned two Canara Bank officials from the Bahrain branch and one Bank of India official from the Antwerp branch in Belgium, in connection to the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam case.

The CBI on April 8 had also issued a Non-Bailable Warrant (NBW) against Nirav Modi Mehul Choksi.

The PNB in February detected the multi-crore scam, wherein Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi had allegedly cheated the bank to the tune of Rs. 114 billion, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank.

The scam, which reportedly began in 2011, was detected in the third week of January this year, after which the PNB officials reported it to the concerned agencies.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) registered a money laundering case against Modi and others on the basis of a CBI First Information Report (FIR).

Currently, the probe agencies are investigating the matter and have also seized many properties of both Modi and Choksi.