PNB fraud case : ED seizes Rs. 25 crore Assets

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The Enforcement Directorate on Friday seized assets worth Rs. 25 crore in connection with the Punjab National Bank fraudulent transactions case.

The fresh confiscation is in addition to the previous seizures valued at Rs. 5,649 crore. The Directorate also carried out searches at 21 locations in Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. The searches will continue on Sunday.

The agency plans to soon initiate the process of attaching 35 immovable properties linked to main accused Nirav Modi and others. The Income Tax Department has provisionally attached 29 of these properties for six months pending assessment of dues.

Bank accounts attached

While the Income-Tax authorities have attached nine bank accounts with a total balance of about Rs. 3.9 crore, they have also traced an overseas account to Singapore with a balance equivalent to about Rs. 23 crore.

Accordingly, the agency is initiating proceedings under the anti-black money law for allegedly holding undisclosed assets abroad.

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The ED will also record the statement of Dinesh Dubey, who has claimed that he was asked to resign as an independent director of the Allahabad Bank after he raised objections in September 2013 to a proposal for a Rs. 50-crore loan to Gitanjali Gems.

The company is owned by PNB fraud case co-accused Mehul Choksi, uncle of diamond merchant Nirav Modi, against whom the Central Bureau of Investigation and the ED have registered two cases. The CBI, which has arrested main accused Gokulnath Shetty (the then Deputy Manager) and two others for alleged role in issuing fraudulent Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) and Foreign Letters of Credit (FLCs), is questioning six more PNB officials.

As alleged by PNB, in the case against Mr. Choksi’s three companies, the accused bank officials had issued these guarantee letters to Singapore, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Antwerp and Bahrain branches of the State Bank of India, Bank of India, Canara Bank, Allahabad Bank and Axis Bank.

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