BUSINESS Former bank employee arrested in India's billion dollar PNB scam, key accused billionaire flees


Former bank employee arrested in India's billion dollar PNB scam, key accused billionaire flees


01:38, February 19, 2018


A man uses rupee to buy things at a shop near Broach, India, Aug. 21, 2013. Photo: Xinhua/Zheng Huansong

India's premier investigating agency Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Saturday arrested a former deputy general manager and two others in fraudulent transition cases worth about 1.77 billion US dollars at India's state-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB), officials said.

The former deputy general manager Gokulnath Shetty is one of the key accused in the case.

"Shetty and two others have been arrested and they will be produced before CBI special court in Mumbai later in the day," an official said, adding that "the other two persons are bank's single window operator Manoj Kharat and Hemant Bhat, authorized signatory of the Nirav Modi Group of Firms."

On Wednesday PNB reported transactions worth approximately 1.77 billion US dollars had been illegally transferred to select customers from a single branch in Mumbai.

The main accused billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, his wife Ami Modi, brother Nishal Modi and his business partner and uncle Mehul Choksi have fled India.

Indian government on Friday suspended passports of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi for four weeks on the advice of the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

The foreign ministry asked the two to respond within one week, failing which their travel documents would be suspended completely.

Reports said ED and CBI are conducted searches at premises of Nirav Modi and his franchise Geetanjali Gems' showroom across India in connection with the scam.

Meanwhile, India's opposition parties are targeting government over the issue for failing to prevent the bank fraud.

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