On Tuesday, the Central Bureau of Investigation made a crucial arrest in connection with the PNB scam. Vipul Chitalia the vice-president banking operations, Gitanjali Group of Companies was arrested from the Mumbai airport upon arrival from Bangkok. After being picked up by the immigration authorities he was handed over to the CBI.
Chitalia is a prized catch for the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate which is probing the RS 12,000 crore scam along with several other agencies. The reason Chitalia is a prized catch is that he is the brain behind the scam, CBI officials say.
Chitalia who is the 19th accused to be arrested in connection with the case was instrumental in preparing applications which were put through for the fraudulent transactions of the Letters of Undertaking, the CBI has alleged. He was directly in touch with the deputy manager of the Punjab National Bank, Gokulnath Shetty who was recently arrested by the CBI.
Further, he directly coordinated with Nitin Sahi, the assistant finance manager of the Gitanjali Group who was working under him, the CBI also said. Chitalia apart from being privy to the modalities of putting through transactions with Mehul Choksi, the prime accused along with Nirav Modi was also instrumental in concealing incriminating documents pertaining to the scam.
Further, the CBI alleged that Chitalia directly reported to Choksi. He was also an authorised signatory of the company, the CBI probe also found. During the questioning, Chitalia also detailed how Choksi left the country. Before the scam broke out, Choksi had in the first week of January left India for Dubai, Chitalia also said.