NEW DELHI: The CBI is likely to widen the ambit of the probe in the Rs 11,400 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan scam and question the auditors of the state-run bank for failure in flagging up the breaches and also officers of the foreign branches of the Indian banks that honoured nearly 300 fraudulent Letters of Undertaking and dozens of Letters of Credit to the firms of diamond traders Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.
“Questioning auditors will help in unravelling if they were part of the larger criminal conspiracy. The role of the officials of the foreign branches that executed the fraudulent LoUs and LCs are also under the scanner,” a senior CBI official said.
The CBI on Friday questioned two general managers and two deputy general managers of PNB and searched Nirav’s official premise at Kamla Mills Complex in Mumbai, CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said. “Documents seized during the searches last week at the premises of the accused individuals and entities are being scrutinised. We are also documenting the sustained questioning of the accused persons as our target is to wrap up the investigation within the stipulated timeframe of 60 days,” Dayal added.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday recovered expensive watches stored in aluminium racks from Nirav’s Mumbai’s home.
The ED has also summoned Nirav’s wife Ami for questioning even as the agency froze bank deposits and shares worth about Rs 44 crore of the fugitive diamantaire. ED officials said they have put fresh freeze orders on bank accounts with a total balance of `30 crore and shares worth Rs 13.86 crore of the Nirav Modi Group under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The Central probe agency has also called Modi’s uncle and promoter of Gitanjali Group Mehul Choksi for questioning on February 26 at the ED office in Mumbai, they said.Nirav, who failed to keep his date for questioning on Thursday, has also been issued summons to appear before the agency on February 26.