Fresh Rs 9 crore fraud comes to haunt PNB

The Asian Age.

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The LOUs were issued to SBI’s Antwerp branch in Belgium on April 25 last year with payment due date till January 20, 2020.

The complaint stated that the two employees, who also assisted fugitive Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, had issued two LOUs for the above amount to the company.

Mumbai: The CBI on Thursday registered a fresh case against the PNB employees who were arrested in the multi-crore fraud case after the bank’s Brady House branch officials detected another fraud committed by the same set of accused.

As per the new case, the two bank employees defrauded their branch office to the tune of Rs 9.09 crore, by issuing two fraudulent LoUs to Chandri Papers and Allied Products.

The accused named in the case are Gokulnath Shetty, retired deputy manager; Manoj Kharat, single window operator; Aditya Rasiwasia and Ishwardas Agarwal, director Chandri Paper and Allied Products, with other unknown persons.

On March 9, PNB’s deputy general manager Avneesh Nepalia submitted a written complaint to the Mumbai CBI, alleging that the Mr Shetty and Nr Kharat hatched conspiracy with Mr Rasiwasia, Mr Agarwal and others to cheat the Brady House branch to the tune of `9.09 crore ($14.21 lakh).

The complaint stated that the two employees, who also assisted fugitive Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, had issued two LOUs for the above amount to the company.

The LOUs were issued to SBI’s Antwerp branch in Belgium on April 25 last year with payment due date till January 20, 2020.

“There was no credit limit available for the accused company nor was there any 110 per cent margin retained by the bank as per the bank records,” stated a CBI officer.

The taint at PNB was first revealed after it came to the fore that Mr Shetty and Mr Kharat acted at the behest of Mr Modi and Mr Choksi and issued 143 fraudulent LOUs to the tune of over Rs 11,400 crore to Allahabad and Axis Bank branches in Hong Kong.

PSBs have verified LoUs: SBI
All state-owned banks have verified LoUs issued by them and there are no other unauthorised authority letters except for those issued by PNB, said M.S. Sastry, deputy MD of State Bank of India.

“Each bank has already scanned their LoU/LoC related transactions and have confirmed that all of them are properly assessed, genuine and accounted for except those reported,” said Mr Sastry.

He said that only one branch out of around 5,000 branches dealing with forex had this breach of control.

All the CTOs and CROs of the PSBs are participating in a workshop, which is coordinated by SBI on the issues of Operational and Technological Risk Management.

Further controls have also now have been put in place that included additional layer of approvals for all outward swift message, integration of SWIFT with CBS (core banking solution) latest by April 30, 2018 besides time restrictions for such transactions that is between 9 am to 8 pm only, said Mr Sastry.

Direct message creation in RTGS/NEFT should not be permitted without corresponding entry in CBS. Multiple banking arrangements will be discouraged for borrowers having more than Rs 250 crore exposure from the banking sector.

Mr Sastry said that PSBs want PNB to honour its commitment with regard to LoUs allegedly issued by it to Nirav Modi and its associates. He also said exact liability will be known after the completion of investigation.

“They were all issued by PNB and against that we have made payment,” he said.

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