Major jewellers come under regulatory lens

Major jewellers come under regulatory lens

New Delhi: Major jewellers Gitanjali, Ginni and Nakshatra have also come under the scanner of various investigating agencies following PNB’s declaration of Rs 11,400 crore fraud, committed allegedly by diamond jewellery designer Nirav Modi.

State-owned lender Punjab National Bank (PNB) disclosed on Wednesday that it has detected some fraudulent transactions with financial implication of $1.77 billion (about Rs 11,346 crore) and the matter has been referred to law enforcement agencies for the recovery.

“Four big jewellers — Gitanjali, Ginni, Nakshatra and Nirav Modi — are under scanner. The CBI and Enforcement Directorate is looking at their arrangements with various banks and end use of money,” a senior official of a public sector bank said.

No immediate comments were available from these companies. There is strict instruction from the finance ministry to all banks that no big fish should go scot free and no honest borrower is harassed, the official said.

Banks are now looking at their systems and processes so that such frauds are not repeated, the official said. All banks have been asked to present a status report as soon as possible, he added.

In 2015, Bank of Baroda — another public sector bank — had brought to light a scam in which two Delhi businessmen cheated it of Rs 6,000 crore which slightly less than $1 billion at that time.

Investigations revealed major irregularities, beca-use the forex transactions were done mainly via advance remittances for import, through newly-opened current acc-ounts. Heavy cash transactions — sometimes four or five times a day — were also noticed. The ED, under the revenue department of the finance ministry, had arrested the businessman duo under money laundering provisions.