Nirav Modi scam: More PNB, Gitanjali, Nakshatra employees arrested
The CBI has arrested Rajesh Jindal, now the general manager at PNB's Delhi head office, in the Rs. 11,400cr Nirav Modi scam. He was posted as the head of the Brady House branch, the site of the scam, during 2009-11 and is the sixth PNB employee to be held. Apart from him, the roles of five others have come to light. Latest updates here.
These five group employees were involved in the scam
According to CBI, Vipul Ambani, a finance department official in one of Modi's companies, was aware of LoUs being issued fraudulently, and so was Kapil Khandelwal (CFO, Nakshatra and Gitanjali). Arjun Patil (senior executive, Firestar) and Niten Shahi (manager, Gitanjali) would prepare fake applications for LoUs, which would be signed by Kavita Mankikar (Modi's firms' authorized signatory). They didn't cooperate with investigations, CBI said.
Modi-Choksi's involvement not a surprise for diamond traders
For many Surat jewelers, the scam was no surprise. They say they had already stopped dealing with Modi's uncle Mehul Choksi, Gitanjali chairman, due to payment issues. Some said they hadn't been paid by the group, while others had learnt their lesson and said they had started demanding advance payment. Trust matters highly in the diamond market, and Modi-Choksi didn't have it, traders claimed.
Traders fear trust will be hit, norms tightened
Though there has been "zero impact" on the diamond industry till now, the scam will hit trust in the market, said Ashit Mehta, Arjav Diamonds CEO. There will be "tightened norms," and dealing will get difficult "even within the diamond market." Dinesh Navadiya, former Surat Diamond Association president, said he feared that "bank loans, especially for small diamond business, will be extremely difficult."
'Unaware of Modi's plans to return,' his counsel says
Meanwhile, Modi's counsel Vijay Agarwal, who flew from Delhi to Mumbai to represent two Firestar employees, said he didn't know when the diamantaire would return to India. "Though I am in touch with Modi intermittently, I did not discuss his return plans," he said.