Allahabad Bank CEO named in PNB fraud

Clyde Nash
May 15, 2018

Separately, two sources familiar with the matter said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had named Ananthasubramanian, diamond jeweller Nirav Modi, and more than 20 others in a charge sheet filed at a Mumbai court on Monday.

"Allahabad Bank will call a board meeting and then decide to divest the power of Chief Managing Director (Usha) named in CBI chargesheet", said Rajiv Kumar, Secretary, Department of Financial Services (DFS).

Usha, who is now serving as CEO and MD of Allahabad Bank, had held the same post in PNB from August 2015 to 2017.

The CBI filed the charge sheet for alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act. The chargesheet also made accused three companies namely Diamond R US, Solar exports and Stellar Diamonds of Nirav Modi. Other top executives at PNB, who served between 2011 and 2017, the period when the fraud was perpetrated, reportedly may also come under the CBI's scanner.

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The main accused in the scam - Nirav Modi and his brother Nishal Modi - are absconding.

PNB, which raised 50 billion rupees from a share sale in December and has received almost 55 billion rupees from the government as part of a $32 billion bank recapitalisation programme, has said it is adequately capitalised for now.

"As on 31 March 2018, 28 accounts were falling under the purview of this framework for which bank has made provision of Rs 31.2 billion", PNB said.

The CBI today filed its first chargesheet in the country's largest financial scam worth over Dollars 2 billion at PNB allegedly committed by billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi.

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Provisions rose almost four-fold to Rs20,353 crore from Rs4,466 crore in the year ago period, on account of rising bad debt, the bank's stock exchange filing showed.

In connection with the pleas filed on the Gitanjali Gems in the court, the ED said, "The Company cleverly veils any reference to Mehul Choksi, who left India in the twilight of the scam coming to the notice of the law enforcement agencies". She was questioned recently by the CBI in connection with the case.

Since February, PNB has been at the centre of a near Rs 13,000 crore fraud involving diamond merchants Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi. She was the managing director of PNB until May 5 past year. "This was essentially because of the fact that SWIFT and CBS integration was to take place based on the circular issued by RBI in 2016", Kumar said.

"After including outstanding amounts under other credit facilities to the above entities, the amount involved now works out to be Rs 14,356.84 crore", PNB said.

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