Mehul Choksi (in photo) and Nirav Modi are at the centre of the $2 billion PNB fraud. Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint
Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a chargesheet against five more people, including jeweller Mehul Choksi, as part of a probe into the alleged $2 billion PNB fraud case, said two people aware of the matter.
CBI named Choksi, three of his companies and four employees working at those companies in a chargesheet filed at a Mumbai court on Wednesday.
In a statement, CBI confirmed it had filed a second chargesheet in the PNB fraud case, dubbed the biggest fraud in India’s banking history, but did not name the accused.
On Monday, it had filed charges against 22 people including jeweller Nirav Modi, former PNB chief Usha Ananthasubramanian, two of the bank’s executive directors, and three companies belonging to Nirav Modi.
Both Modi and Choksi have denied any wrongdoing. Ananthasubramanian and the two Punjab National Bank executives did not reply to multiple calls and messages seeking comment.
The charges filed on Monday are the first formal ones to be filed in the sprawling case that has stunned investors, shaken the Indian banking sector and prompted a major regulatory crackdown.
PNB, India’s second-largest state-run bank, said in February that the two jewellery groups led by Modi and his uncle Choksi had defrauded it by raising credit from overseas branches of other Indian banks using illegal guarantees issued by rogue PNB staff over several years. The bank has been conducting a separate internal probe into the fraud and has already suspended over 20 officials.
The fraud this week dragged PNB into a $1.98 billion fourth-quarter net loss, the worst loss ever recorded by an Indian bank.