In a recent development, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed the first charge-sheet in the alleged Rs 13,400 crore fraud involving diamantaire Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi.
The role of bank’s former chief Usha Ananthasubramanian has been detailed in the chargesheet. The CBI chargesheet also names several other officials of the bank including PNB executive directors K V Brahmaji Rao and Sanjiv Sharan, and general manager (international operations) Nehal Ahad. It has also detailed the roles of Nirav Modi, his brother Nishal Modi and Subhash Parab, an executive in Nirav Modi’s company.
The chargesheet deals with the first FIR registered in the case relating to the fraudulent issuance over Rs 6,000 crore of Letters of Undertaking to Diamond R US, Solar Exports and Stellar Diamonds. However, The role of Mehul Choksi in the present chargesheet has not been detailed by the CBI. On the other hand, Choksi’s role is likely to come up as soon as the CBI files supplementary chargesheets in the case related to the probe of the Gitanjali group.
Three FIRs have been filed by CBI in this particular case against Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and also against Modi’s company Firestar Diamonds between January and March. Before PNB filed the complaint with the CBI, both Modi and Choksi had left the country. The first arrest was made by the agency on February 17 that included the alleged key accused Gokulnath Shetty (former deputy General manager of PNB), Manoj Kharat (single window operator of PNB) and Hemant Bhat (authorised signatory of Modi’s company).
By arresting Vipul Ambani, president (finance) of Firestar International, the agency made its first high profile arrest on February 20. The others arrested are Bechhu Tiwari (then chief manager in the Forex department of PNB), Yashwant Joshi (scale II manager in the Forex department), Praful Sawant (scale-I officer handling exports section), Manish Bosamiya (former AGM of operations in Firestar International Ltd owned by Modi), Miten Pandia (then Financial manager of Firestar), Sanjay Rambhia (auditor of Firestar), Aniyath Shiv Raman Nair (then director of Gili India Ltd, a Gitanjali Group firm owned by Choksi), Vipul Chitalia (VP banking operations of Gitanjali group).