A special CBI court in Mumbai on Sunday issued non-bailable warrant against billionaire jewellers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi in the cases related to Punjab National Bank scam. The NBW was issued on the request of the probe agency as both Modi and Choksi had repeatedly refused to join the investigation in the scam, a CBI spokesperson said.
Both Modi and Choksi are being investigated by multiple probe agencies after the PNB disclosed a fraud, worth over Rs 13000 crore, wherein they allegedly acquired fraudulent letters of undertaking (LoUs) for overseas credit from other lenders. While Modi runs a jewellery brand chain under his name, Choksie is the promoter of Gitanjali Gems.
The issuance of NBWs by a court also opens door of seeking Red Corner Notices against both of the accused from the Interpol. The government has claimed to have tracked Modi in Hong Kong where it has sent a request for his provisional arrest.
Earlier, a lookout notice was issued by the CBI against Modi and Choksi. However, Modi and his associates fled the country before the notices were issued. While Nirav and his brother Nishal left India on January 1, his wife Ami, a US citizen, and Choksi left on January 6, all before the CBI received a complaint from the PNB on January 29.
The CBI, meanwhile, continued questioning of officers of overseas branches of the Indian banks that extended alleged credit facilities on the basis of LoUs issued by PNB to firms related to Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.
The officer who dealt with Forex transactions in Allahabad Bank, Hong Kong Branch, has been summoned from Hong Kong and is being questioned.
(With PTI inputs)
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