PNB fraud: MD Sunil Mehta appears before SFIO

The Brady House branch of Punjab National Bank in south Mumbai. The PNB fraud case involving jeweller Nirav Modi was allegedly carried out of this branch

The Central Bureau of Investigation had also questioned ICICI's Executive Director NS Kanan.

Chitalia was stopped at the airport and brought to the CBI office at the Bandra-Kurla Complex for questioning, a CBI official said.

The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) has summoned ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar and Axis Bank chief Shikha Sharma to seek information on the evolving Punjab National Bank fraud involving diamantaires Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.

They include present and former employees of the PNB, besides staffers and top executives of the companies owned by Modi and Choksi.

As part of the ongoing investigation into the $2-billion Punjab National Bank fraud case, 31 bank chiefs were issued summons separately by investigators trying to deconstruct the scam.

ICICI Bank also under-reported its NPAs by 19.5%, and had gross NPAs worth Rs. 44,488.54 crore at the end of September 2017.

The SFIO, which is under the corporate affairs ministry, has written to each of the over 30 banks which have either loaned money to the scam-tainted firms or extended any services, sources said.

Both Modi and Choksi are alleged to have frauded Punjab National Bank with Rs 12,600 crore. "The bank will submit all the required documents to the authorities", said an Axis Bank official. There are 31 banks issued loans to Choksi, among which ICICI has sanctioned a loan of Rs. 405 crore. Its exposure to the Gitanjali group, it said, is not the largest among the lenders in the consortium.

The transactions were carried out by Mr. Nirav Modi by allegedly acquiring fraudulent Letter of Undertaking (LoU) from the lender's Brady House branch in Mumbai to secure overseas credit from other Indian lenders.

Executives from private sector lenders ICICI Bank and Axis Bank met with the SFIO on Tuesday, according to sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

"SFIO has written to all the banks in the consortium and senior officials from the bank will have to explain under what circumstances the loans were sanctioned and whether collaterals were offered", sources added.

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