CBI officials quiz PNB director Brahmaji Rao for second day

Supreme Court to hear petitions against Nirav Modi, PNB and RBI officials

CBI sources said the top officials were quizzed but investigators were not treating them as accused.

The CBI on Saturday questioned PNB managing director-cum-CEO Sunil Mehta and executive director KV Brahmaji Rao in connection with the bank fraud case. The case against three directors of the company including Kothari and others was filed on a complaint received from Bank of Baroda.

Sources said that the CBI and ED probe into the alleged Rs 11,400-crore fraud perpetrated by Modi and Choksi on PNB indicates that more than two dozen banks may have been exposed to loans ranging between Rs 5,000 crore and Rs 10,000 crore. Foreign Ministry sources said that on the advice of the Enforcement Directorate, the Ministry had suspended the legitimacy of their passport for immediate effect for four weeks from February 16 and gave them a week's time to answer why their passport Be confiscated or canceled. On 21 February, CBI registered a case against a senior Punjab National Bank official of its Barmer (Rajasthan) branch for "fraudulently" giving away 26 loans worth Rs.62 lakh under the Mudra scheme. Modi was summoned under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Modi along with his wife Ami, brother Neeshal and Mehul Choksi left India in the first week of January before the PNB accused them of committing the fraud. In a regulatory filing, Allahabad Bank said last week that it has an exposure of almost $366.87 million (Rs 2,374 crore). According to some estimates, total losses of these public sector banks could well swell up to over Rs 20,000 crore if the ED finds out "bending of norms" in their cases too.

The undertakings, which PNB says were issued between 2011 and 2017 with incomplete ledger entries by the two officials, were used by Modi and Choksi's firms to obtain credit from the overseas branches of mostly Indian lenders.

A farmhouse and adjoining land, worth over Rs 42.70 crore, in the Kihim area of beach-side Alibaug of the Nirav Modi Trust has also been attached.

MP Majeed Memon has quoted a report alleging that the accused celebrity jeweller, Nirav Modi had deposited cash worth Rs 90 crore at one of the branches of the scam-hit Punjab National Bank (PNB), hours before the announcement of demonetisation.

Similarly, a 53-acre solar power plant, valued at Rs 70 crore, in the Karjat area of Ahmednagar district of the state has also been brought under the same action.

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