Trouble seems to be mounting for Mehul Choksi, the promoter of Gitanjali Group and maternal uncle of the diamond czar Nirav Modi as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a fresh FIR against him on Friday in connection with the alleged fraud in the dispersion of Letters of Understanding (LoUs) worth Rs 11,400 crore from the Punjab National Bank (PNB).
The CBI had on Thursday claimed that Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi had ripped off the PNB to the tune of Rs 4,886.72 crore during 2017-18 by getting 143 LoUs issued through the bank.
The new FIR relates to 143 LoUs worth over Rs 4,886 crore delivered to three companies owned by Choksi, Gitanjali Gems, Nakshatra, and Gili during the period 2017-18.
The earlier case registered by the CBI involving Rs 280 crore has now been expanded to cover LoUs worth Rs 6,498 crore issued to companies owned by Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.
The CBI also questioned four officials of Punjab National Bank, Bechu Tiwari, Chief Manager posted at Nariman Point branch, Mumbai during February 2015-17, DGM Sanjay Kumar Prasad who was then AGM at Brady house branch during period 2016-17, Chief Manager of zonal audit office Mohinder Kumar Sharma, who was then concurrent auditor during Nov 2015-January 17, and Manoj Kharat, then Single Window Operator during November 2014-Decemeber 2017.
A special team under a Deputy Inspector General (DIG) is being formed to probe the case.
PNB in its complaint has alleged that 293 Letters of Understanding (LoUs) worth Rs 11,400 crore were falsely issued to the companies of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi from one of its branches in Mumbai.
The LoUs were issued by the Punjab National Bank to Indian banks in Mauritius, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Antwerp, and Frankfurt for the companies, the officials said.
Nirav Modi his brother Nishal, a Belgian citizen left the country on January 1. Modi's wife Ami who is an American citizen left on January 6 while Mehul Choksi left the country on January 4, the officials said.