Rs 1,200 crore more in PNB black hole; its ex-CMD grilled

Published: 28th February 2018 01:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th February 2018 06:08 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

 NEW DELHI: On a day when the Punjab National Bank loan fraud ballooned by over Rs 1,000 crore, the CBI for the first time questioned the bank’s then chairman and managing director Usha Ananthasubramanian under whose watch the lender was ripped-off by diamantaires Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.

Ananthasubramanian though grew professionally and is the current CMD and CEO of Allahabad Bank.
PNB on Tuesday filed a fresh complaint with the CBI after it detected more fake Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) issued to Choksi’s Gitanjali group worth Rs 1,251 crore. With this, the scam size has grown up to Rs 12,636 crore. The earlier estimate was Rs 11,384 crore.

Along with Ananthasubramanian, the CBI questioned two serving PNB officers — Nehal Ahad, General Manager, International Banking Division, and Vimlesh Kumar, General Manager, Mumbai Zone. Ananthasubramanian’s grilling comes days after the agency questioned current  PNB chief Sunil Mehta on Saturday.  

The CBI also questioned ICICI Bank Executive Director N S Kannan in connection with a loan to the Gitanjali group by a consortium of over 30 banks led by it. “During searches at the premises of Choksi’s firms, documents relating to loan worth Rs 5,280 crore by a consortium of banks led by ICICI was recovered,” CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said. ICICI Bank’s exposure to the Gitanjali group through the consortium is Rs 773 crore. PNB was part of the consortium and had loaned over Rs 500 crore. Whether or not the amount was returned to PNB is what the CBI is trying to find out.

ICICI Bank has not approached the CBI with any complaint regarding the loan.

Was at PNB helm for two years

The current CMD of Allahabad Bank, Usha Ananthasubramanian (pic) served as PNB’s Managing Director and CEO from August 2015 to May 2017. She is also the first woman head of IBA


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