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PNB seeks action on misuse of Mudra loan at Rajasthan

By Vicky Nanjappa
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    The Punjab National Bank reeling under the Rs 12,600 crore fraud allegedly committed by Nirav Modi has sent a case relating to the misuse of Mudra loan by one of its officials at Barmer in Rajasthan for necessary action.

    PNB seeks action on misuse of Mudra loan at Rajasthan

    The PNB was responding to a clarification sought from exchanges on a news report about the unearthing of misuse of Mudra loan by CBI and filing of an FIR in the case. PNB said it has come to its notice that the CBI has filed two First Information Reports (FIRs) relating to alleged abuse of official position by branch manager I C Chundawat in sanctioning and disbursing 26 Mudra loans amounting to Rs 65.25 lakh.

    Another FIR reports that the "suspected officer Chundawat resorted to criminal misconduct, cheating and forgery by way of depositing of amounts of government schemes into a fictitious account in the name of Sugna Devei at PNB Gagria branch which caused wrongful loss of Rs 1.57 crore," PNB said. The case has been forwarded immediately for necessary action as per regulatory guidelines, it said further.

    With relation to further clarification sought on increase in the reported unauthorised transactions by $204.25 million (nearly Rs 1300 crore), the bank said it has reported the fraud to the appropriate authorities pertaining to Gitanjali Group. "As on March 2, 2017, the Foreign Letters of Credit (FLC) in were issued fraudulently for one year but since it was not entered into bank's books of accounts, it could be detected and subsequently crystallised/reported on February 26, 2018." Accordingly, the date of occurrence may be accepted as February 26, 2018, it added.

    PNB said the issuance of FLC (Foreign Letter of Credit) is a contingent liability and may fall upon the bank in case of non-payment by opener of FLC. "However, we have adequate assets/capital to meet any liability which may be crystallised on us as per law of land. The fraud has already been reported to regulatory authorities," it said.

    The announcement made to the exchanges is about the possibility of an increase in the amount of fraud. The detection of additional fraud of Rs 1,300 crore on February 26 has led to an overall increase to Rs 12,700 crore in the alleged unlawful loan transactions to billionaire diamond jeweller Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi of Gitanjali Gems through the unauthorised issuance of Letter of Undertakings (LOUs) in connivance with a few PNB officials. PNB shares closed 0.35 per cent down at Rs 101 apiece on BSE.

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