The New Delhi-based Punjab National Bank, which is the third lender in India has been called by the SFIO in the last two days in connection with the $2 billion fraud, thought to be done by diamond traders Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.
PNB managing director and CEO Sunil Mehta on Wednesday appeared before the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) to record his statement in the nearly Rs 127 billion scam at the bank.
Mehta was seen entering the SFIO office here before 11 AM.
Axis Bank and ICICI Bank officials had appeared before SFIO yesterday to record their statement in the case.
The SFIO, which is the investigating arm of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, is expected to call officials of nearly 31 banks that have an exposure to companies of Modi and Choksi.
Officials of all the banks that have given loans to the companies of Modi and Choksi in last one or two years are likely to be called first for recording their statement by the SFIO in connection with the scam.
Mehta and PNB’s executive director K V Brahmaji Rao were last months called by the CBI in connection with the alleged fraud.
The CBI officials had said the examination was focused on understanding as to how the crime was detected by the bank, procedural issues and their violations.
They said that Mehta and executive drector were not being treated as accused in the case just enquired.
The PNB had last month said it had detected fraudulent transactions worth Rs 127 billion at one of its branches in Mumbai.
The transactions were carried out by Modi who acquired letters of undertaking (LoU) by fraud from the lender’s Brady House branch in Mumbai to secure overseas credit from other Indian lenders.
The CBI has so far arrested over a dozen people, including former and current officials of PNB and companies related to Modi and Choksi, in connection with the case.