CBI to chargesheet Modi, Allahabad Bank CEO in its first chargesheet

Billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi is at the centre of the over $2 billion PNB fraud

PNB was hit by a almost Rs13,000 crore scam allegedly perpetuated by jewellers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi in connivance with some bank employees.

"Allahabad Bank will call a board meeting and then decide to divest the power of Chief Managing Director (CMD) named in CBI charge sheet", Kumar said.

Along with Usha, three other top officials of PNB, Brahmaji Rao (Executive Director), Sanjiv Sharan (Executive Director) and Nehal Ahad (General Manager) have been named as accused. The PNB board convened an emergency meeting on Monday on the insistence from the government's nominee director. Before joining Allahabad Bank she was the CEO & MD of Punjab National Bank in 2016.

"The (PNB) board has chose to divest EDs of the functional and financial responsibilities and have also requested the government to replace them", Kumar said, adding the government is committed to taking strict action against erring officials. Post the detection of the fraud, the banks including PNB were advised by RBI to maintain due diligence. In an earlier stint, Ananthasubramanian also served as the Executive Director of Punjab National Bank from July 2011 to November 2013.

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Earlier, on April 21, the Punjab National Bank moved a Hong Kong court against the billionaire jewellers in order to recover an amount of over Dollars 5 billion. The agency alleged that the proceeds of buyer's credit availed from overseas banks on the basis of LoUs of the PNB were dishonestly and fraudulently diverted to pay off the oustanding liabilities of the three accused firms, directly and indirectly controlled by Nirav Modi. "Agencies have filed chargesheets against bank management teams, there should not be any integrity issues in PSBs", Kumar said.

On April 6, the court issued a notice to the ED on a plea of Gitanjali Gems, seeking quashing of a money laundering case against the company. We have initiated action for that the removal also. "They misinterpreted the directives", a CBI officer said. "However, it is negligence and not fraud but action needs to be taken to show that someone is accountable", said Ashvin Parekh, who runs Ashvin Parekh Advisory Services, a consultancy firm.

CBI Spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said that the CBI has searched 42 premises, arrested 15 persons and questioned 80 witnesses in the case.

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