Nirav Modi-PNB Fraud: Mumbai Office Of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas Raided By CBI

Nirav Modi-PNB Fraud: Mumbai Office Of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas Raided By CBI

The Mumbai office of law firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas was raided by a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team last week in connection with the investigation into the Rs 11,400 crore Nirav Modi scam, Legally India reported.

The Firm was apparently instructed by Mr. Modi less than a month before the lid was blown off the scam. The Firm has, however, since terminated the assignment handed over to it by Mr. Modi, and has now handed over all documents related to him to the CBI.

It was on 14 February that the Punjab National Bank (PNB) informed the Bombay Stock Exchange that it had detected “fraudulent and unauthorized transactions” amounting to $1.8 billion at its Brady House branch in Mumbai.

It was revealed that PNB officials handed out Letters of Undertaking to companies associated with Mr. Modi, allowing him to avail credit from overseas branches of Indian banks. None of these "fraudulent transactions" were registered on the bank's Core Banking Solution (CBS), thereby going unnoticed. It was later revealed that bank employees had colluded with Mr. Modi, and had misused their access rights, facilitating the fraud.

Apart from the investigation being carried out by the CBI, the Supreme Court is also hearing two petitions- one filed by Advocate Vineer Dhanda and another filed by Advocate Manohar Lal Sharma. Mr. Dhanda's Petition demands that the Finance Ministry and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) be directed to frame guidelines for grant of loans more than INR 10 crores.

Besides seeking registration of cases against all those involved in the fraud and "immediate deportation" of Mr. Modi, the Petition also demands that a committee of experts be created to document details of bad debts in the country. It, in fact, calls it the "biggest scam in the history of banking system in India", pointing out that it began in 2011 and continued for a period of 6 years in full view of the authorities. It, therefore, raises several questions on the efficiency of the CBS as well.

Mr. Sharma's Petition seeks a Court-monitored SIT probe into the banking fraud. It hints at attempts of concealing information, claiming that “despite having information about the fraud on January 16, PNB did not report it to the police or CBI but got busy in changing the bank records/ other written information at the behest of the Finance Minister and only on January 29 was a complaint made to the CBI Mumbai branch naming 7 bank employees and three companies showing a loss of Rs 280.70 crores”.