COIMBATORE: The investigations into the multi-billion dollar Punjab National Bank scam reached Coimbatore when sleuths of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) grilled one of the independent directors of the Gitanjali Group of Companies near Vadavalli on Friday. The officials interrogated Krishnan but returned empty-handed, as they could not seize any valuable documents.
The inquiry started around 9 and lasted till noon. The CBI officials raided the houses and the office premises of Krishnan, located on adjacent streets in Kasthurinaikenpalayam near Vadavalli, sources said. CBI officials, who raided the premises, quizzed him regarding the account details of the companies. However, speaking to the media persons, Krishnan said that he had shared all the details.
Stating that he was one of the three directors in the concern, Krishnan said, “We all meet once in three months, during which we discuss and file the accounts.” The other two directors are believed to be in Pune. When asked about the fraud, he said he did not know much and evaded other questions.
Sources in intelligence confirmed that while raiding the house and office premises of Krishnan, CBI officials took an official from another nationalized bank for help. The CBI sleuths also attempted to recover the data from a hard disc in the office systems and other electronic gadgets. However, it went in vain, sources said, adding that the CBI officials would come again in another week for further interrogation.
Express found out a few of the franchisees of Gitanjali Group. Gili World functioning on TV Samy Road West in RS Puram is a franchisee of Gili, a sister concern. Similarly, another sales centre is functioning in a mall.
Raids at Chennai franchisees
After the Central Bureau of Investigation registered a fresh case against three entities of Gitanjali Group of Companies, owned by Mehul Choksi, for being part of the alleged Rs 11,400 crore Punjab National Bank fraud, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has launched an investigation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act against its franchisees in the city and seized jewellery worth Rs 2 crore.
A senior ED official told Express that searches were conducted on jewellery shops on Harrington Road and Velachery in Chennai on Friday and jewellery worth Rs 2 crore was seized from them. “These firms were linked to Choksi group,” the official said.
He said searches were conducted in T Nagar, Cathedral Road and Velachery on Saturday. The raided companies have been selling the jewellery of Choksi Group and are under the Enforcement Directorate scanner. The official said details were not available on the quantity of jewellery seized.