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PNB fraud: ED expands probe; writes to 16 more banks

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PNB fraud: ED expands probe; writes to 16 more banks

If the ED finds out ‘bending of norms’ in cases of other banks, the quantum of losses to banks caused by Modi & Choksi will swell up to nearly Rs 20,000 crore

Expanding its probe in the Rs 11,400-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud against diamantaires Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has now raised questions over the credibility about these public sector banks to keep the public money safe.

Reportedly, the ED has written to 16 banks, other than PNB, seeking information of all loans offered to the two businessmen – including present status of the loans, the form & nature of the loans, and collateral offered against these loans. According to sources, if  ED finds out ‘bending of norms’ in cases of other banks too, the quantum of alleged losses caused by them to banks will swell up to nearly Rs 20,000 crore.

Stating that ED Director Karnal Singh has written to the banks for details of the loans, an official said, “We are at present seeking information from banks which have given bigger loans. We have learnt that these loans have been granted at collaterals which are just 12 per cent of the total value of the loans. We want to see on what basis these loans were granted and whether these are still recoverable. However, we have not asked any bank to file a complaint with us.”

Sources have further stated that the CBI and ED probe into the case of fraud – which was perpetrated by Modi and Choksi on PNB – shows that more than two dozen banks may have been exposed to loans ranging between Rs 5,000 crore and Rs 10,000 crore.

While the two prime accused have left the country just before PNB lodged a complaint against them, both Modi and Choksi haven’t yet replied to any official summons – whereas the two defaulters are unlikely to be in a position to pay back the loans, with the authorities having attached their properties.

Earlier on February 16, seeking response within a week on to why their passports should not be impounded or revoked, the Ministry of External Affairs suspended the validity of Modi and Choksi’s passports with immediate effect for a period of four weeks.

According to sources, Mehul Choksi and his companies Geetanjali Gems, Gili India and Nakshatra Brand owed close to Rs 3,000 crore in the form of 37 bank loans till March 31, 2007. On the other hand, the total outstanding loans taken by Nirav Modi’s firms amounts to Rs 3000 crore from 17 banks – Central Bank of India (Rs 194 crore), Dena Bank (Rs 153.25 crore), Vijaya Bank (Rs 150.15 crore), Bank of India (Rs 127 crore), Syndicate Bank (Rs 125 crore), Oriental Bank of Commerce (Rs 120 crore), Union Bank of India (Rs 110 crore), IDBI Bank and Allahabad Bank (Rs 100 crore each).

A former Price Waterhouse Coopers auditor said, “It is perplexing how banks kept advancing loans on such low profits and without probing who these sundry debtors were. It is normal practice to check each and every sundry debtor, particularly in this case where the amounts were so huge, before advancing fresh loans.”

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Mukesh Ambani and family receive threat calls, Mumbai Police detains one

A man has been detained in the Dahisar area in the western suburbs of Mumbai. He has been arrested on the grounds of his alleged connection to the threat calls.

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Industrialist Mukesh Ambani and his family have received three threat calls today on August 15. Reportedly, the calls were made on the number of Reliance Foundation’s Harskisandas Hospital on Monday around 10:30 am.

The complaint was filed at the DB Marg police stations and their team is trying to get more information about the same. However, in the official statement given by the Mumbai Police, “the complaint filed by the Reliance Foundation states that three threat calls were made to Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani and his family and the probe is underway.”

And soon after the complaint was filed, a latest update suggests that a man has been detained in the Dahisar area in the western suburbs of Mumbai. The man has been arrested on the grounds of his alleged connection to the threat calls.

However, this is not for the first time that, Mukesh Ambani and his family have received threat calls. Even last year, a Scorpio car with 20 explosive gelatin sticks along with a threat letter was found outside Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani ‘Antilia’.

Soon after the police were informed, a team of cops including Mumbai’s crime intelligence unit headed by Sachin Vaze, who also took over as the lead investigator of the case, had reached Antilia for investigation.

As per reports, later the case was handed over to NIA after a mysterious death case took over the headlines. The victim was none other than the Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiren.

For the unversed, Hiren was the owner of the Scorpio car that was found outside Mukesh Ambani’s residence. Earlier, the late businessman had claimed that the car was stolen a week ago.

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VIRAL: Elephant Jeymalyatha brutally beaten up by mahouts in Tamil Nadu, Peta India demands action

Reports said the elephant was tortured by mahouts at the Sribilliputhur Nachiyar Thirukovil temple.

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Elephant Jeymalyatha

In an animal-cruelty incident, an elephant named Jeymalyatha was brutally beaten up by mahouts in Tamil Nadu. The video of the incident is viral and has triggered massive outrage on social media.

Reports said the elephant was tortured by mahouts at the Sribilliputhur Nachiyar Thirukovil temple.

PETA India shared the video on Twitter and demanded stringent action against the mahouts. In the video, Jeymalyatha could be seen crying in pain as the mahouts continuously kept thrashing her with sticks. PETA India has sent an urgent appeal to the chief wildlife wardens of Assam and Tamil Nadu and demanded the enforcement of the Wild Life (Protection) Act (WPA), 1972, by filling a preliminary offence report under Section 51 against mahouts involved and under Section 48 against the Srivilliputhur Nachiyar Thirukovil temple.

The organisation also demanded to seize the abused elephant and rehabilitate her at a sanctuary.

Watch the viral video here:

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Tickets? UP Police constables beat up TT on Gorakhdham Express in Kanpur | WATCH

The constables hit him on the head due to which his shirt was soaked in blood.

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UP Police constables beat up TT in Gorakhdham Express

In a shocking incident, the railway head TT was beaten up by two Uttar Pradesh police constables at Kanpur Central Railway Station. According to the reports, the constables were travelling without a ticket on a train from Gorakhpur to Bhatinda, and when the TT asked them to get off the train, they thrashed him fiercely. The incident took place at around 11:30 pm on the Gorakhdham Express on Tuesday.

TT Rambaran, who was on duty, took the train from Lucknow. On Twitter, Aditya Tiwari shared the video of TT narrating the whole incident. He said when he asked for the ticket, the constables said they would get down at Kanpur. After that, when he asked them to step down from the train at the Kanpur station, police constables beat him brutally.

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TT Rambaran also said the constables even tried to throw him off the train, but the passengers who were there on the train helped him save his life. The constables hit him on the head due to which his shirt was soaked in blood.

The victim lodged a complaint against the constables in GRP Kanpur. GRP inspector R.B. Dwivedi said they reached the spot as soon as they received information about the incident. He further said the FIR has been registered and the investigation is underway.

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