The nearly $1.8 billion fraud perpetrated on the Punjab National Bank (PNB) by diamantaire and eponymous jewellery brand owner Nirav Modi along with his uncle Mehul Choksi, who headed the Gitanjali group which also owned the jewellery brands and retail chains in India as well as the US, now has grown by another $204 million to now stand at ₹12,622 crore ($1.95 billion) in aggregate.
In a disclosure to Indian stock exchanges, PNB said the more fraudulent Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) worth ₹1,322 crore ($204 million) were uncovered by overseas bank branches which have been conducting forensic audits in the wake of the scam. The new amount is actually more than PNB’s net income of ₹1,320 crore in fiscal 2017.
PNB stock fell sharply after the announcement. The bank, however, denied media reports that it has been asked by the government to pay for fraud liabilities.
Meanwhile, a special court set up under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on Monday allowed an Enforcement Directorate (ED) plea seeking issuance of Letters Rogatory (LRs) to six countries for obtaining information about the overseas businesses and assets of Nirav Modi.
Letters Rogatory are a formal request from a court of a sovereign nation to a court of another sovereign nation for judicial assistance in a case.