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PNB scam accused sent to police custody till March 5

IANS | Mumbai |

A special CBI court on Wednesday sent to police custody, till March 5, five senior executives of the Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi Group of Companies, including Vipul Ambani, who was arrested on Tuesday in connection with the Rs 11,300 crore Punjab National Bank fraud.

The Central Bureau of Investigation had nabbed Vipul Ambani, Firestar International’s President (Finance), and four other high-ranking executives belonging to the group companies of absconding billionaire diamond trader Nirav Modi and his maternal uncle Choksi.

They also include Kavita Mankikar, an executive assistant and authorised signatory with three firms of the Firestar group, and Firestar’s senior executive Arjun Patil – who were both named in the original FIR lodged by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) after the scam was reported by PNB.

There is also Nakshatra Group and Gitanjali Group’s CFO Kapil Khandelwal and Gitanjali Group’s manager Niten Shahi – both group companies owned by Choksi.

The arrests and remand came in the CBI’s ongoing investigations into the alleged fraudulent transactions perpetrated through 150 Letters of Undertaking (LoU) and other acts committed by them in the PNB fraud unearthed at the Brady House Branch in south Mumbai last week.

Earlier, the CBI had arrested Bechhu Tiwari, the PNB’s Chief Manager who was in-charge of Forex Department, Yashwant Joshi, a Scale II Manager in the same department and Praful Sawant, a Scale I Officer in Exports section.

Last Saturday the CBI had arrested three persons, including two retired PNB officials – former DGM Gokulnath Shetty and Single Window Operator Manoj Kharat, besides Hemant Bhat, the authorised signatory for Nirav Modi Group.

All the six above have been sent to police custody till March 3.