New Delhi/Mumbai: In one of the latest developments in the Rs 12,600 crore Punjab National Bank fraud case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested a retired bank chief manager in connection to the case. In addition, the Enforcement Directorate has also attached 41 immovable properties of Mehul Choksi. A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) official in Delhi said arrested official Bishnubrata Mishra, who was Chief Manager/Internal Chief Auditor of the Punjab National Bank's Brady House branch in Mumbai from 2011 to 2015, was responsible for the concurrent audit of the bank between 2011 to 2015.
The official said Mishra was responsible for auditing procedures and practices followed in the PNB branch and report them. He said the CBI had grilled 13 more persons in the case in addition to questioning those arrested.
Earlier in the day, the CBI said two places in Mumbai linked to diamantaire Nirav Modi were searched, leading to the seizure of incriminating documents related to the Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) in the PNB fraud case. The Enforcement Directorate attached 41 properties worth Rs 1,200 crore of Nirav's uncle Mehul Choksi of the Gitanjali Group.
A CBI official said the agency on Wednesday night searched a small room in a Mumbai 'chawl' from where the agency seized a few LoUs. The agency got a tip-off on the room during the questioning of some people.
The official said the seized documents are "very important" and the chawl address is related to Nirav Modi's company.
Earlier in the day, an Enforcement Directorate (ED) official told IANS: "At least 41 properties with a worth of Rs 1,217.20 crore belonging to Choksi and companies controlled by him have been attached."
These include 15 flats and 17 office premises in Mumbai, Hyderabad Gems SEZ in Andhra Pradesh, a shopping mall in Kolkata, a farmhouse in Alibaug and 231 acres of land in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
The IT Department had also attached four properties of the Nirav Modi group, including a farmhouse worth Rs 13 crore in Alibaug, and a 5.24 MW solar power plant worth Rs 70 crore in Ahmednagar. Both properties were in Maharashtra. The Income Tax Department had also attached 34 more bank accounts and fixed deposits of the Gitanjali Group with a balance of Rs 1.45 crore.
Choksi along with Modi has been accused of defrauding the PNB of Rs 12,600 crore, with Rs 1,300 crore being added to the fraud kitty on Monday night.
The CBI had filed the first FIR in the scam on February 14 against Nirav Modi, his wife Ami, brother Nishal, uncle Choksi and his firms Diamond R US, Solar Exports and Stellar Diamond.A
Modi, his family and Choksi left the country in early January. The CBI filed a second FIR on February 15 for a Rs 4,886.72-crore fraud against Choksi's Gitanjali Group.
Till date, the ED has carried out searches at over 198 locations across the country and seized properties worth Rs 6,000 crore. The CBI has till date arrested 13 people in the case.