The Enforcement Directorate on Friday issued fresh summons to jewellery designers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, asking them to appear before it on February 26 in connection with the Rs 11,380-crore scam at Punjab National Bank.
They were summoned under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. On Thursday, Modi had informed the agency that he cannot appear before it because his passport has been temporarily suspended, reported PTI.
Modi is accused of cheating Punjab National Bank of Rs 11,380 crore. The case involves bank officials allegedly handing out fake Letters of Undertaking on behalf of companies associated with Modi, which allowed him to access massive foreign exchange loans that were completely unsecured.
On Friday, the Enforcement Directorate continued its raids on Modi’s properties. It froze his bank accounts that had a balance of Rs 30 crore and shares worth Rs 13.86 crore. It also seized 176 steel almirahs and 60 containers with imported watches.
Meanwhile, the Punjab National Bank has appointed auditor Pricewaterhouse Coopers to investigate the alleged fraud, reported The Economic Times. The auditor has been asked to collect evidence against Modi and also quantify the bank’s losses because of the alleged fraud.
On Friday, employees of Choksi’s Gitanjali Gems protested outside the office of the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation in Mumbai’s Andheri East locality. ANI quoted a staff member as saying that employees were resigning of their own accord since the multi-crore scam emerged.
The Finance Ministry has written to four banks in Hong Kong that received Letters of Undertaking from the Punjab National Bank in the wake of the scam, according to ANI. As a regulatory measure, the ministry has asked all banks to review the LoUs they issued, unidentified officials said.
The ministry has also asked the State Bank of India, Axis Bank, Allahabad Bank and Bank of India to reconcile accounts and check for irregularities. Public sector banks have been asked to appoint special representatives or agencies to monitor status for all loans above Rs 250 crore.