PNB rip-off: no bail for prime official of Mehul Choksi’s agency

Mumbai, December 4

A special CBI court here on Friday rejected the bail plea of Vipul Chitalia, vice-president of the Gitanjali Group of Companies arrested in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam.

Chitalia, who was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation in March 2018, had filed a bail application for the second time.

Special CBI judge VC Barde rejected the application.

The CBI had alleged that Chitalia was the “mastermind” for putting through fraudulent transactions along with absconding accused Mehul Choksi, owner of the Gitanjali group.

Chitalia was also the authorised signatory of the group for the issuance of applications for Letters of Undertaking (LoU), the agency said.

He was instrumental in preparing applications for carrying out fraudulent LoU transactions with the active connivance of key accused Gokulnath Shetty, a former PNB official, the CBI alleged.

An LoU is a bank guarantee under which a bank can allow its customer to raise money from another, typically overseas bank.

Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi, in connivance with some bank officials, are accused of duping PNB of Rs 14,000 crore by obtaining LoUs fraudulently. PTI

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