Hyderabad: In the Rs. 7,000-crore Punjab National Bank fraud involving fugitive Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, the sleuths of the Enforcement Directorate have attached properties worth Rs. 14.45 crore of the Gitanjali Group of companies. This is in addition to the Rs. 2,500-crore worth properties of the two accused that have already been attacked.

The attached assets include a flat (1,460 sq. ft) at O2 Tower in Goregaon, Mumbai, and movable assets in the form of gold, platinum, diamond, pearl-silver necklaces, watches, and a Mercedes Benz held in the name of Gitanjali Group and its director Mehul Choksi.

ED began an investigation into the PNB bank fraud case against Mehul Choksi based on the FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The agency found that Choksi and others, in connivance with certain PNB officials, had created fake Letter of Understanding and got FLCs (foreign letter of credit) enhanced without following the prescribed procedures and caused wrongful loss to the bank.

"Evidence has proved that PNB bank officials, in connivance with Mehul Choksi, Gitanjali Gems, and others, originally issued FLCs for smaller amount within the sanctioned limit. 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 and such enhancement of amount was done at four-five times higher value of the original FLC. Such amendments were done outside the CBS system and hence it was not captured in the books of the bank," ED officials said.

Also, the Punjab National Bank branch where the fraud was detected was holding documents of original FLC amount and no import documents of such increased amount were found in the branch. Fraudulent FLCs payments have gone to liquidate the overseas exporter's liability arising out of earlier FLCs/discounting of bills, the official added.

Coreena Suares

Coreena Enet Suares is the Editor of NewsMeter. Her stories have been published in the Deccan Chronicle Newspaper and the Asian Age. Coreena began her career as a News Anchor. Throughout her journey, she has been able to build a strong network with people from all walks of life. She is an alumnus of Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists- Research and Investigation, a flagship initiative of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) Coreena is also a certified fact-checker by Google India Initiative. She has attended the 'Defence Correspondents Course 2019, through which she visited Indo- Pak border, besides traveling on a War-ship and insight into operations of Fighter aircraft. Coreena's focus areas are anti-crime investigation agencies and Defence reporting.

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