Economy

PNB Bank scam: ED attaches assets worth ₹14.45 crore of Mehul Choksi

Our Bureau. Mumbai | Updated on February 04, 2021

Mehul Choksi

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued a provisional order attaching assets worth ₹14.45 croreof Gitanjali Group of companies and its director Mehul Choksi in the PNB bank fraud case. The attached assets are in the form of immovable properties comprising a flat measuring 1,460 sq.ft at O2 Tower, located at Goregaon, Mumbai, and movable assets in the form of gold, platinum jewellary, diamond stones, pearl-silver necklaces, watches, and Mercedes Benz car held in the name of Gitanjali Group of Companies and its director Mehul Choksi.

The ED had initiated investigation into the PNB scam against Mehul Choksi, Gitanjali Gems, and others under the provisions of PMLA, 2002 on the basis of FIR registered by Central Bureau of Investigation. It was alleged that Mehul Choksi, Gitanjali Gems, and others have committed the offence of cheating Punjab National Bank, in connivance with certain bank officials by fraudulently getting LoUs issued and got the FLCs (foreign letter of credit) enhanced without following the prescribed procedure and caused a wrongful loss to the bank.

During investigation under PMLA, it was revealed that PNB bank officials, in connivance with Mehul Choksi, Gitanjali Gems and others, originally issued FLCs for smaller amount within the sanctioned limit and, once the FLC number was generated, the same number was used for amendment by way of enhancement of FLC by way of increase in the amount. Such enhancement of amount was done at 4-5 times higher value of the original FLC amount and were done outside the CBS system and, hence, it was not captured in the books of bank. Further, it was also found that the branch was holding documents of original FLC amount and no import documents of such increased amount were found in the branch, and much of the fraudulent FLCs payments have gone to liquidate the overseas exporter’s liability arising out of earlier FLCs/discounting of bills

Earlier, the ED has already attached properties worth more than ₹2,550 crore, and now it has attached assets worth ₹14.45 crore of Gitanjali Group of Companies and its director Mehul Choksi.

Published on February 04, 2021

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