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PNB discloses Rs 942 cr additional exposure to Gitanjali group

New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) The Punjab National Bank (PNB) has filed a fresh complaint to the CBI alleging it has uncovered additional exposure of about Rs 942.18 crore defraud by Gitanjali Group of companies in connection with a multi-crore fraud.The PNB, the country's second-biggest state-run lender, filed a supplementary complaint to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on March 4 against Gitanjali Gems ltd, Gill India ltd, Nakshatra Brand ltd and Asmi Jewellery India ltd for the additional fraud amount. It said a total amount therefore allegedly defrauded by the accused till date is about Rs 7,080.86 crore during 2013-17, according to a document submitted in special CBI court in Mumbai on Tuesday. The court filing said that the Gitanjali group of companies controlled by jeweller Mehul Choksi allegedly defrauded PNB of Rs 4,8886.72 crore regarding which the CBI filed a case on February 15. On February 22, the PNB gave an additional complaint whereby the fraud in respect of Foreign letter of Credits increased by another Rs 1,251.56 crore. The new disclosure takes PNB's overall exposure in the still unravelling fraud case to well over the $2 billion mark.Choksi, the chairman of the Gitanjali Group, was so far accused along with his nephew Nirav Modi in over Rs 12,630 crore PNB bank fraud. The CBI has registered separate FIRs in connection with the case. Billionaire diamond trader Nirav Modi, his wife Ami and brother Nishal Modi also named in the fraud. Choksi, Nirav Modi and his family fled to abroad in January around a month before the PNB filed first complaint against them about the fraud and they are still at large. --IANSrak/vd

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