PNB discloses additional exposure of Rs 942 crore in Nirav Modi fraud probe

Punjab National Bank has told police that it has uncovered additional exposure of about Rs 942 crore ($145.2 million) in connection with the Nirav Modi fraud case, according to a court filing seen by Reuters.
In what has been dubbed as the biggest fraud in India’s banking history, PNB, the country’s second-biggest state-run lender, said last month it had been defrauded of about $2 billion by two jewellery groups who raised credit from overseas banks based on fraudulent guarantees issued in collusion with rogue PNB staff.
In a court filing on Tuesday, police said the Gitanjali group of companies controlled by jeweller Mehul Choksi allegedly defrauded PNB of Rs 70.8 billion ($1.09 billion). PNB had previously pegged its exposure to the Gitanjali companies at Rs 61.38 billion.
The new disclosure takes PNB’s overall exposure in the still unravelling fraud case to well over the $2 billion mark. With the addition of Rs 942 crores, PNB’s exposure to Gitanjali Gems, and the various firms linked to Nirav Modi now stands at Rs 13,578 crore, from the Rs. 12,636 crore estimated earlier.
A lawyer for Gitanjali group’s head, Mehul Choksi, said he was unaware of the new allegations and declined to comment. Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi, who is the other main accused in the case, have both denied any wrongdoing. PNB did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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