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PM did nothing to stop India's 'biggest bank fraud': Cong on Nirav Modi scam

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The today targeted the government over the Rs 11,400 crore scam allegedly involving jewellery and accused it of doing nothing to stop "independent India's biggest bank fraud" despite being informed of it.

"Loot and escape" had become the hallmark of the government, leaders said, equating the celebrity with liquor baron Vijay Mallya, former chief and other who had left the country after allegedly committing frauds worth crores.

led the charge and said the NDA government looked the other way when used his clout with the to slip out of the country and steal Rs 12,000 crore.

"Guide to looting by Nirav Modi--1. Modi 2. Be seen with him in Use that clout to: A. Steal 12,000 crore B. Slip out of the country like Mallya, while the government looks the other way," Gandhi said on

The also released a picture of with the business delegation accompanying the to at the meet last month.

According to officials, Nirav Modi left the country on January 1, much before the CBI received a complaint from the

Dubbing Nirav Modi "Chota Modi two" and "Chhota Modi one", Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surejewala asked whether the billionaire jewellery had a tip off that led him to leave the country.

He also asked who was protecting the

Surjewala, along with party leaders Shaktisinh Gohil and Pawan Khera, released a copy of a complaint by a resident Hari Prasad, seeking early action against Nirav Modi and his business partner Mehul Choksi, to buttress the party's claims.

Addressing a press conference, Surjewala said the letter was acknowledged by the on July 26, 2016.

The prime minister was made aware of this entire fraud through the complaint, he said.

State-owned yesterday said that it had detected a about Rs 11,400 crore scam -- where Nirav Modi allegedly acquired fraudulent letters of undertaking from a branch in to secure overseas credit from other Indian lenders.

"The entire system was bypassed. All regulatory mechanisms broke down. Everything escaped the eyes of auditors and investigators. 'Risk management' and 'fraud detection ability' came to naught. Yet, the would have us believe that this entire fraud was being perpetrated by two employees," Surjewala said.

"Has it become the norm for letting people run away with public money? Who is responsible," Surjewala said.

He said this was biggest in independent and asked why it was permitted to happen.

"Why did prime minister not take action on it despite being told about it," he said.

The have so far been silent but must answer the questions, the Congress said.

The Congress, he said, demands accountability, "fixation of responsibility" and recovery of the money.

"If prime minister knew of the matter as early as July 26, 2016, should he not be held accountable? Should the prime minister have permitted such a person to accompany him as part of a business delegation along with him to The responsibility lies more with the prime minister," he said.

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

First Published: Thu, February 15 2018. 18:25 IST