Responding to absconding diamond jeweller Nirav Modi’s accusation that it closed all recovery options, Punjab National Bank (PNB) on Thursday said it followed legal means to recover the $1.8 billion defrauded by him. PNB said it has enough assets and capital to meet any liabilities arising from the fraud. In a letter, Modi alleged that PNB’s over-zealousness shut the doors on his ability to clear the dues. He tried to ‘correct’ them by saying the money he owed banks was less than Rs5,000 crore and not what was publicised. He accused the bank of destroying his brand and business in its hurry to recover the dues immediately. PNB said it followed lawful avenues available to them to recover the dues. In the meantime, chartered accountants’ apex body ICAI has issued show-cause notices to the auditors of PNB and Gitanjali Gems in connection with the $1.8 billion fraud at the public sector lender. The institute has also summoned a deputy general manager of the bank seeking details about the fraud. The ICAI has written to the central bank, Reserve Bank of India, requesting it to provide the list of the corporate borrowers of public sector banks having outstanding loan amount of Rs 2,000 crore and above. The list would be examined by the Financial Reporting Review Board of ICAI for any possible violation of applicable standards of accounting as well as auditing.
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