Indian billionaire jeweller denies involvement in $1.8 billion bank fraud case

Nirav Modi case Bank officials may have made close to Rs 823 crore in PNB fraud

Billionaire involved in India's major bank scam says exposure hits business, ability to pay back

After Nirav Modi-PNB fraud case, there are speculations that Virat Kohli might give up his position of being the brand ambassador of the bank which has hit the country like a storm.

Both companies are controlled by Modi.

It said the current system in place needs to be checked for efficiency.

With the Indian media reporting that Modi and his family are hiding in NY or Dubai, the external affairs ministry said it has suspended the passports of Modi and his uncle Choksi for four weeks.

The PNB, the second largest state-run bank, had, on February 14, informed the exchanges about detecting a $ 1.77 billion fraud at its Brady House branch in Mumbai, and named the firms led by Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi's Gitanjali Group, and some other diamond and jewellery merchants as suspects.

Nirav Modi's lawyer Vijay Aggarwal has said all the transactions with PNB were documented and allegations made by the Central Bureau of Investigation were wholly wrong.

"They are covering themselves up", Aggarwal said of the complaint.

During the questioning of three PNB officials -Bechhu Tiwari, Yashwant Joshi and Praful Sawant-arrested yesterday, it emerged that they were trying to shift the blame for the fraud on their colleagues-Gokuldas Shetty (retired official) and Manoj Kharat-arrested earlier, officials said.

An LoU is a guarantee which is given by the issuing bank to Indian banks having branches overseas to grant short-term credit to the applicant.

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Separately, in a letter to PNB officials, Modi stated that his companies owe the bank under Rs50 billion ($775.25 million), much lower than the amount alleged by the bank.

Modi, Choksi and others are being investigated by multiple probe agencies after it recently came to light, following a complaint by the PNB, that they allegedly cheated the nationalised bank to the tune of Rs 11,400 crore, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank.

"However, the erroneous liability resulted from a media frenzy led to immediate search and seizure operations, which has in turn resulted in Firestar International Pvt".

SWIFT said last week it did not comment on individual customers, but helped lenders secure their systems when fraud cases were reported to it. Police also questioned some executives from Mr Modi's group, the source said.

The fraud case has wiped off $1.7 billion, or more than a quarter, of PNB's market value.

Shares in PNB, which has actually shed nearly a 3rd of its market price given that revealing the scams, were down 3.5% in early trading after ranking company Fitch positioned the count on unfavorable watch.

Moody's Investors Service placed under review for downgrade PNB local and foreign currency deposit rating of Baa3/P-3 and foreign currency issuer rating Baa3, an official statement said.

He said, 'Banks will squeeze the lending amount for SME after this and it will badly affect the SMEtherefore it is necessary to scatter the loan portfolio.

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