Internal Probe Indicates Nexus Of PNB Officials In Nirav Modi Scam


New Delhi:In the Rs 14,000 crore Punjab Nation Bank fraud case involving NiravModi, an internal investigation report has indicted the management, circle and zonal officers, treasury and forex departments and the international banking division along with auditors for ignoring widespread violations, unethical practices and dereliction of responsibilities. These things have led the bank to such a “catastrophe”.

For instance, if PNB’s audit department had checked the SWIFT messages logs, a single activity would have nailed the whole act at the incipient stage, the report said. The report added that the bank didn’t verify the commission vouchers for opening for Foreign Letters of Credit (FLCs) and, subsequently, wrong SWIFT log generation was sent by the Mumbai circle office to the zonal office and to the head office in Delhi.

But no “adverse feature” was noticed in the entire chain. PNB’s circle office in Mumbai was supposed to maintain quarterly compliance of each of five branches under its control but it did not provide any details on the activities of Brady House. Pointing to business growth, the report said alarm bells should have rung in the circle and zonal offices when import-export and fixed deposit business of the branch was skyrocketing.

The investigations showed that PNB had 1,804 pending cases of bill of entry (BOEs) worth Rs 1.14 lakh crore out of which the outstanding BOEs of NiravModi’sFirestar Group and MehulChoksi’sGitanjali Group were worth Rs 99,031 crore. Bills of entry are documents detailing the quantity and quality of goods along with the source or destination. Several senior officers from the circle office visited the branch between 2010 and 2017 but “no senior officer has made any adverse comment on SWIFT, DMS (daily monitoring system) reports, specific instances of unauthorised business etc”.

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