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PNB scam: Mehul Choksi moves court for cancellation of Non-Bailable Warrant

By Deepika

Gitanjali Gems owner Mehul Choksi has moved an application before the special court of CBI for quashing of non-bailable warrant in connection with the Rs 13,000 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case.

Mehul Choksi

Millionare jewelry designer Nirav Modi and owner of Gitanjali Gems, Mehul Choksi have been accused of defrauding the PNB of Rs 12,600 crore, with Rs 1,300 being added to the fraud kitty.

Mehul Choksi allegedly diverted about Rs 4,000 crore of the Rs 6,000 crore from outstanding letters of undertaking (LoUs) and foreign letters of credit (FLCs) issued by Punjab National Bank (PNB) to his flagship firm's subsidiaries, other companies linked to him abroad and to buy a villa in the UAE, according to the reports.

the Enforcement Directorate found that Choksi used four Hong Kong-based firms to allegedly divert about Rs 3,500 crore of the outstanding LoU and FLC funds to related companies in USA, UK, UAE, Thailand, China, Japan, Italy and Belgium..

Choksi and Nirav Modi are wanted by multiple investigating agencies after state-owned PNB complained against their companies, saying it had been cheated of Rs 13,600 crore through fraudulent issue of LoUs and FLCs. Both left India in January, a few weeks before the scam came to light. Choksi is known to be residing in the US.

Sources said Choksi's firms allegedly availed of LoUs and FLCs worth over Rs 23,000 crore from PNB. Of this, around Rs 17,000 crore was brought back to the country and was used for repayment of older LoUs and FLCs of PNB.

The probe agency has found that at least Rs 14,000 crore was brought back to India allegedly in the guise of import transactions of Gitanjali Group firms and rotated among a few dummy companies in the country, such as Premier Intertrade and Iris Mercantile, before the money was repaid to PNB. The remaining Rs 3,000 crore was paid directly to PNB.

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