New Delhi, Feb 18: The Central Bureau of Investigation on Sunday said that Gokulnath Shetty, the retired deputy bank manager, and two other officials who were taken into custody yesterday in connection with the multi-crore PNB fraud case are not co-operating with them in the probe. Also Read - PNB Scam: Nirav Modi Remanded in Custody by UK Court Until April 15
“Arrested accused are not co-operating in the investigation. The involvement and connivance of more staff members and outsiders, including billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, the managing director of Gitanjali Gems Ltd, is being probed,” news agency ANI quoted officials of the CBI. (Also Read: PNB Scam: Indian Banks May Take Over Rs 17,600 Crore Hit From Nirav Modi Fraud, Says I-T Dept) Also Read - PNB Scam: UK Court Rejects Nirav Modi's Bail Plea For Fifth Time
On Saturday, the CBI had arrested Punjab National Bank’s former deputy manager Gokulnath Shetty and Manoj Kharat, SWO (single window operator) over Nirav Modi’s fraudulent transactions of over Rs 11,400 crore. Also Read - Nirav Modi's Rolls-Royce Ghost, Diamond Wristwatch, Raja Ravi Varma Painting to be Auctioned
As per CBI sources, arrested bank officials, during interrogation, disclosed that for every LoU, a commission was fixed depending on the amount to be sanctioned as loan. Commission in exchange of issuing the aforementioned document was distributed between all employees of PNB involved in it, the CBI said.
The investigation agency has also arrested Hemant Bhat, Authorised Signatory of the Nirav Modi Group of Firms.
Earlier in the day, it was reported that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) began raid at a Gitanjali store in Raipur in connection with the fraud case involving businessmen Nirav Modi and his uncle and business partner Mehul Choksi.
The agency had conducted searches at several places linked to Nirav Modi in Mumbai, Delhi, and Gujarat, and seized diamonds, jewellery and gold worth Rs 5,649 crore.
State-owned PNB has been rocked by a USD 1.77 billion scam where billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi allegedly acquired fraudulent letters of undertakings (LoUs) from the Brady House branch in south Mumbai to secure overseas credit from other lenders. The scam was started in 2011 and was detected in the third week of January this year, after which the PNB officials filed a complaint with the CBI on January 31.
The other banks which have or have had exposure to the fraud include State Bank of India (over USD 221 million), Allahabad Bank and Axis Bank among others. Some overseas lenders are also believed to have had exposure to the fraud.
(With inputs from agencies)