SFIO summons senior officials from Axis, ICICI, other private banks

SFIO summons senior officials from Axis, ICICI, other private banks

SFIO summons senior officials from Axis, ICICI, other private banks

The SFIO was investigating loans of Rs 5,280 crore to Gitanjali Gems by ICICI Bank-led consortium of 31 banks which gave loans to the company. "The liability is still not established for the banks, given the web of companies related to Choksi and Modi", said a senior official at a state-run bank.

After media reports that ICICI Bank managing director and chief executive Chanda Kochhar, and her Axis Bank counterpart Shikha Sharma have been summoned by SFIO regarding the case, stock exchanges have sought clarifications from both the lenders. Now, the SFIO has approached other lenders which have exposure to the firms promoted by Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi. Chitalia was apprehended at the Mumbai airport and taken to CBI office for questioning.

The SFIO, which is under the corporate affairs ministry, has written to each of the over 30 banks which have either loaned money to the scam-tainted firms or extended any services, sources said. NS Kannan, official chief ICICI bank, was the pioneer of consortium of the bank that loaned cash to Gitanjali Group, it has been asserted.

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Soon after the exposure of the PNB scam, Axis Bank had stated that while it had in the past done transactions against PNBs authenticated letters of undertakings, the private sector lender had since sold down all the referred transactions.

Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) detained Vipul Chitalia, vice president of Gitanjali Group, as a part of the probe into the case. "The bank will submit all the required documents to the authorities", said an Axis Bank official.

The 12,636-crore PNB scam was allegedly perpetrated by billionaire jeweler Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, the promoter of Gitanjali Gems.

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This is separate from the Rs12,636 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud investigation, which involved fake letters of undertaking, he added.

The officials of PNB scam were sent through an worldwide messaging system for banking called SWIFT. These amounts are then credited to the LoU issuing bank's Nostro accounts.

The CBI on Monday sent Manish Bosamiya, Miten Pandya, Sanjay Rambhia and Aniyath Shiv Raman Nair to police custody in PNB fraud case.

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