Mumbai: A team from the Enforcement Directorate led a multi-city raid on showrooms and offices of billionaire diamond jeweller Nirav Modi who is at the centre of a Rs 11,346 crore fraud in the Punjab National Bank, and possibly other lenders.
ED teams raided three sites in Surat, four in Mumbai and two in Delhi on Thursday morning.
"Nirav Modi is no longer in India and has left the country on January 1. CBI has received complaint from PNB on January 29, 2018 and the case was registered on January 31. Lookout notice has also been issued against Nirav Modi," News agency ANI quoted official sources.
PNB, the second largest public sector bank in the country, filed a complaint with the Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday against Nirav Modi and companies linked to him for defrauding the bank in connivance with bank officials in a Mumbai branch.
It is alleged Modi and his associate companies fraudulently acquired PNB guarantees worth USD 1.7 billion that they later used to obtain overseas loans. The bank alleged Modi worked with some junior PNB officials to get the letters.
The scam started in 2011.
While PNB did not name the other lenders, Union Bank of India, Allahabad Bank and Axis Bank are said to have offered credit based on letters of undertaking (LOUs) issued by PNB.
An LOU is a letter of comfort issued by one bank to branches of other banks, based on which foreign branches offer credit to buyers. Foreign bank branches too are under investigation.
Three other jewellers, Gitanjali, Ginni and Nakshatra are under the scanner with the CBI and ED looking at their arrangements with various banks and end use of money, a senior official of a public sector bank told PTI.
This could be the biggest banking fraud in India as its quantum was bigger than an estimated 9,000 crore scam at erstwhile Satyam computers....