Economy

PNB fraud: IT attaches 9 bank accounts of Mehul Choksi, Gitanjali Gems

PNB fraud: IT attaches 9 bank accounts of Mehul Choksi, Gitanjali Gems”

The name of Mehul Choksi, the owner of the stores, features in the multi-crore rupees fraud.

"Gitanjali Gems shares slumped 18 per cent to Rs 48.05 after PNB said on Wednesday it had been defrauded of about Rs 11,400 crore by jeweller Nirav Modi, his maternal uncle Mehul Chinubhai Choksi and other relatives through a clutch of companies they own", Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, told IANS. PNB shares had also plunged in the previous two sessions after the fraud came to the light.

Data sourced from Prime Database shows that in the quarter ended December 2017, LIC significantly increased its holding in Union Bank of India and PNB. On Thursday, too, the scrips dropped by nearly 12 per cent. Market experts say that LIC's move to raise its holding in PSBs may have been on account of government announcement to recapitalise banks. The loss in value of holding in Allahabad Bank amounts to Rs 65.8 crore.

"These attachments have been made keeping in view the huge demand which is likely to be raised in the assessment proceedings which are underway in the case of Nirav Modi, his family members and group concerns", an I-T report had said.

Other than Gitanjali Gems, LIC has stakes in other listed jewellery manufacturing firms including PC Jewellers (2.18%) and Rajesh Exports (5.04%).

On 14 February, Punjab National Bank (PNB) disclosed that it detected some fraudulent transactions with financial implication of about Rs 11,346 crore and the matter has been referred to law enforcement agencies for the recovery. As many as three FIRs in Karnataka in 2015 reveal that one franchisee, Amit Kumar from Mysuru, had a Rs 1.7 crore cheque issued by Gitanjali bounced, while one Hari Prasad failed to get Rs5 crore rental for his showroom to sell Gitanjali jewellery. Letters of undertaking (LoUs) are issued by a bank giving some sort of a guarantee on behalf of a company.

In his complaint, Hari Prasad further wrote, "This company is involved in siphoning out of Rs 1000s of crores of Indian public money through various subsidiary companies floated in India and fictitious companies overseas".



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