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CBI seeks Interpol Red Corner Notice against Nirav Modi & Mehul Choksi

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The CBI has sought Red Corner Notices against billionaire and his uncle Choksi, who had absconded days before over the USD 2 billion fraud allegedly perpetrated by them on state-run Punjab National came to light, officials said.

Modi, who is reportedly in the UK attempting a political asylum, and Choksi, promoter of Gitanjali group whose whereabouts are unknown as yet, are on the run since the CBI registered an FIR against them on January 31.

The duo had fled the country in the first week of January along with some family members, nearly a fortnight before PNB detected the fraud -- which is said to be biggest in the country's history, officials said.

and have refused to to join the probe citing business engagements and health issues, the officials added.

was reported to be in where he was allegedly seen enjoying a meal in a lavish upmarket restaurant but his exact location remains unknown, they said.

Left with no choice, the CBI has asked the to issue a Red Corner Notice against and Choksi, which would mean that the member countries of the Lyon-based international police cooperation agency can arrest and later deport or extradite them, they said.

was last publicly seen in a group photograph of CEOs and top brass of Indian corporate sector with at Davos, in late January.

A week later, the CBI registered an FIR against the two, among others, on the basis of a complaint from the PNB, they said.

Nirav Modi's brother and wife were also named as accused in the FIR.

His wife Ami, a US citizen, brother a Belgian, and uncle Choksi, Gitanjali group's promoter, are also said to have fled the country in the first week of January.

The case pertains to allegedly cheating the state-run through fraudulent issuance of Letters of Undertakings (LoUs) and Foreign Letters of Credit (FLCs).

The agency recently charge-sheeted both and separately in the scam. It has now approached the for a Red Corner Notice to bring them back for facing trial in the cases against them, sources said.

The CBI, in its charge sheets filed on May 14, had alleged that Nirav Modi, through his companies, siphoned off funds to the tune of Rs 6,498.20 crore using fraudulent LoUs issued from PNB's Brady House branch in Choksi allegedly swindled Rs 7080.86 crore.

An additional loan default of over Rs 5,000 crore to Choksi's companies is also a matter of probe by the CBI.

It has been alleged that Nirav Modi and Choksi through their companies availed credit from overseas branches of Indian banks using fraudulent guarantees of the PNB given through LoUs and letters of credit which were not repaid bringing the liability on the state-run bank, officials said.

An LoU is a guarantee given by an issuing to Indian banks having branches abroad to grant short-term credit to the applicant.

The instructions for transferring the funds were allegedly issued by a bank employee, Gokulnath Shetty, using an international messaging system for called SWIFT platform and without making their subsequent entries in the PNB's internal banking software, thus bypassing any scrutiny in the bank, they said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, June 11 2018. 22:10 IST