PNB fraud: PM Modi says system will ‘not tolerate loot of public money’, promises strict action

Without naming either Nirav Modi or the Punjab National Bank, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the management of financial institutions, auditors and regulators should perform their duty with dedication.

india Updated: Feb 23, 2018 22:09 IST
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
PNB fraud,Nirav Modi,Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Global Business Summit in New Delhi on Friday. (ANI/Twitter)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said his government will take stringent action against financial irregularities and not tolerate loot of public money, breaking his silence more than a week after India’s second largest bank PNB said it had been defrauded of over Rs 11,400 crore.

Days after the fraud allegedly masterminded by diamantaire Nirav Modi came to light, the Prime Minister asked the management of financial institutions as well as the supervisory bodies to do their job diligently to check such instances.

“I want to make it clear that this government has been taking strict action against financial irregularities and will continue to take strict action,” he said at Global Business Summit organised in New Delhi. “System will not tolerate loot of public money,” he added.

Nirav Modi, whose diamond creations have draped Hollywood stars such as Kate Winslet and Dakota Johnson, and firms linked to him are alleged to have acquired fraudulent letters of undertaking (LoUs) from one PNB branch in Mumbai between 2011 and 2017 to obtain loans from Indian banks overseas. Investigative agencies have raided Modi’s properties and arrested bank employees.

Without naming either Nirav or the Punjab National Bank (PNB), the Prime Minister said the management of financial institutions, auditors and regulators should perform their duty with full dedication.

“I want to make an appeal to those who have been entrusted with the job of framing rules and policies and maintaining ethics to do their job diligently and with dedication,” he said, adding this should specially be followed by those who have been entrusted with the responsibility of supervision and monitoring.

First Published: Feb 23, 2018 22:07 IST