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PNB fraud latest developments: I-T department attaches Rs 145.74 crore of Nirav Modi



* The income tax department attached Rs 145.74 crore of Nirav Modi; total 141 bank accounts/FDs of the group have been attached till date, news agency ANI quoted I-T sources as saying.

* The Finance Ministry will soon call a meeting of top officials of scam-hit Punjab National Bank and other lenders to amicably resolve the issues concerning payment liabilities of Rs 11,400 crore arising from the alleged fraud, news agency PTI reported.

* News agency ANI reported that all 4 accused in PNB fraud case including Vipul Ambani were sent to police custody till 5th March by special CBI court in Mumbai.

* Supreme Court on Wednesday deferred hearing on a PIL seeking immediate court monitored probe into Rs 11,400 crore Nirav Modi-PNB scam. The Centre opposed the PIL seeking independent investigation and deportation of Nirav Modi. The matter will now be heard on March 16. The apex court observed that the PIL seems to be a publicity stunt and said that it cannot pre-empt the government’s probe. The PIL was filed by lawyer Vineet Dhanda, which seeks Nirav Modi’s deportation within two months.

* CBI on Wednesday sealed Nirav Modi’s farmhouse in Alibaug near Mumbai. The 1.5 acre farm house in the uber rich neighbourhood at a stone’s throw distance from Arabian sea was purchased by Nirav Modi in 2004 for Rs 32 crore for hosting special parties for his clientele to show case his precious jewellery collection, they said.

* Late last night, CBI arrested Rajesh Jindal, a general manager-rank officer of the Punjab National Bank posted at the bank’s head office at New Delhi. Jindal was the head of the Brady House, Mumbai, branch of the bank during 2009-11. Issuance of LOUs to Nirav Modi group firms without sanctioned limits allegedly started during his tenure.
* In what is being dubbed as the first high-profile arrest in the Rs 11,400 crore alleged PNB scam, CBI took Vipul Ambani, the head of finance of Nirav Modi’s Firestar Diamond into custody. Vipul Ambani is a relative of well-known industrialist brothers Mukesh and Anil Ambani.

* The government’s investments in public sector banks has taken a major hit in the wake of PNB and Rotomac frauds. The government has seen the value of its investments in public-sector banks drop by about Rs 30,000 crore ($4.6 billion) in the last seven days.

* On Tuesday, the RBI broke its silence on the PNB fraud saying that it had warned banks at least thrice since August 2016 of possible misuse of the SWIFT Infrastructure. The central bank also announced the appointment of chartered accountant Y H Malegam (80), who was part of the RBI’s board for 17 years, to head a panel that will look into the causes of fraud at lenders and the reason for their failure in identifying defaulters.

* News agency IANS reported that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is probing 120 shell companies allegedly linked to dimond trader Nirav Modi and Gitanjali Group chief Mehul Choksi even as Income Tax officials claimed to have found two companies linked to Nirav.

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