CBI Files Second Chargesheet in PNB Scam, Mehul Choksi Named as 'Wanted'

Mehul Choksi, who had left India in January for medical treatment in the US, conveyed through his lawyer that he is not in a position to record his statement.

Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday filed its second chargesheet in the ongoing investigation of the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam against Mehul Choksi and 17 other entities.

The 12,000-page chargesheet has been filed in Mumbai's Special CBI Court under sections 409, 420 and 120B of IPC. It has named billionaire jeweller Mehul Choksi as 'wanted'.

The CBI also charged 16 other entities, including a few companies, of criminal conspiracy and cheating under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

This is the second chargesheet in the case. The first was filed on May 14 against Choksi's nephew Nirav Modi along with former and current bank officials involved in the fraud.

The May 14 charges also included Allahabad Bank MD and CEO Usha Ananthasubramanian, and 21 others, including 11 bank officials. Ananthasubramanian was earlier with PNB.

Investigations revealed that, from 2015 to 2017, accused officials of PNB had fraudulently issued a large number of Letter of Undertakings (LoU) to Nirav Modi for obtaining Buyer’s Credit and FLCs from overseas banks without any sanctioned limit or cash margin and without making entries in the CBS system of the bank.

Investigations further revealed that the fraud was allegedly perpetrated despite the knowledge of senior officials of Punjab National Bank, who did not implement the circulars and caution notices issued by the Reserve Bank of India safeguarding the SWIFT operations and instead, misrepresented the factual situation to the central bank.

It was also revealed that Gokulnath Shetty, the then Deputy Manager of Punjab National Bank branch in Brady House, Mumbai had allegedly obtained illegal gratification from the companies of Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi in return for the favour of issuing fraudulent LoUs and FLCs.

The CBI had reportedly registered the first FIR on January 31 against Nirav Modi, his wife Ami, brother Nishal and uncle Mehul Choksi along with others in the wake of a complaint by Deputy General Manager of PNB’s Zonal office in Mumbai, on January 29.

So far, 15 people have been arrested in the PNB fraud case, while Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi are still at large.​