Fin Min negates reports claiming Indian banks could take hit of over USD 3bn

ANI | Updated: Feb 19, 2018 22:26 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 19 (ANI): The Finance Ministry on Monday rubbed off media reports claiming that Indian banks could take a hit of over USD three billion, in connection with Punjab National Bank (PNB) - Nirav Modi fraud case.

"News appearing in certain section of media that Tax Department has estimated that Indian banks could take a hit of more than USD 3 bn due to alleged fraud at PNB, is false and factually incorrect. @IncomeTaxIndia has NOT made any such prediction. @adhia03 @ReutersIndia @PTI_News," Ministry of Finance posted on Twitter.

Certain sections of the media had earlier run a report claiming that Indian banks could take a hit of more than USD three billion from loans and corporate guarantees provided to diamond companies at the centre of the massive fraud at Punjab National Bank.

"As of March 2017, banks had extended loans and guarantees worth 176.32 billion rupees (USD 2.74 billion) to companies tied to billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, the tax department said in a note," which was run by certain sections of the media.

For the unversed, Punjab National Bank detected a 1.77 billion dollars scam in which jeweler Nirav Modi acquired fraudulent letters of undertaking from one of its branches for overseas credit from other Indian lenders.

The scam was started in 2011 and was detected in the third week of January this year, after which the PNB officials reported it to the concerned agencies.

Meanwhile, the PNB filed a second complaint with the CBI on February 13.

The CBI had received the complaint from PNB on January 28 and a case was registered in the case on January 31. (ANI)