ED arrests close associate of Nirav Modi

ED arrests close associate of Nirav Modi

ED arrests close associate of Nirav Modi

PNB has previously said it was ready to honour "bona fide" commitments, but it has also said counterparty banks were partly at fault for not making adequate checks when sanctioning the loans.

From the beginning when the fraud was detected and reported to the authorities by PNB, the bank had communicated that it has a strong balance sheet to meet any contingent liabilities.

A source with direct knowledge of the talks had told Reuters on Tuesday that PNB was moving to quickly resolve the dispute by the end of the month.

PNB, which in December raised 50 billion rupees (US$770 million) by selling shares to institutional investors and is also in the process of receiving almost 55 billion rupees as part of a government cash injection programme, is adequately capitalised to take the load of any provisioning burden, the source said.

The Enforcement Directorate arrested a "close confidante of Nirav Modi" Shyamsunder Wadhwa, vice president of Firestar Diamonds, group company started by the diamond merchant, and a special court in Mumbai on Wednesday sent him to custody till April 3.

The CBI found during its investigation that the accused enjoyed a credit of Rs 2 crore from the New Bank of India (which later merged with PNB) branch in Connaught Place and Rs 25 lakh from the Corporation Bank in Karol Bagh.

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The recent revelation of fraud amounting over Rs 13,000 crore at second largest public sector Punjab National Bank (PNB) is the trigger for the government to issue such an advisory to banks as Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi - the key persons to defraud the bank-fled the country before investigations were launched against them.

Shyam Sundar Wadhwa, a top official working for Modi as vice-president of Firestar, has been arrested by the enforcement directorate for interrogation.

The agency had last week approached the court seeking its nod to question some of the accused, arrested by the CBI, who are in judicial custody at present.

Meanwhile, profitability of banks will be hit in the current quarter as bad loans surge following changes by RBI in loan restructuring guidelines to align them with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), bankers said.

Nirav Modi and his associates had fraudulently procured letters of understanding worth over Rs 14,500 crore in collusion with PNB officials to carry on trade in diamonds.

The scam is larger than Rs 6000 crore the CBI had said.

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