PNB fraud: CBI seeks permission to question Vipul Ambani in jail
The CBI on Monday approached the special court to question Vipul Ambani who held the post of President (finance) of the Nirav Modi-controlled Firestar group of companies in connection with the Punjab National Bank fraud.
The CBI arrested Ambani, listed among the 12 accused, on February 20. After completing the maximum time permissible in police custody, he was remanded in judicial custody.
On Monday, the agency claimed they need to interrogate him over the voluminous records for two days. “During the investigation of this case, certain new material and facts have surfaced regarding the role of Vipul Ambani in the matter of cheating PNB by the 3 firms of Nirav Modi group namely Diamonds R US, Stellar Diamonds and Solar Exports. Further, there are voluminous documents pertaining to the issuance of fraudulent LoUs which are further to be confronted with Vipul Ambani and therefore, his examination in judicial custody is necessary,” reads the application filed by CBI on Monday.
The plea was objected by his lawyer Pranav Badheka. The court is scheduled to pass an order on the plea by Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the special CBI court on Monday extended the judicial custody of four accused, including Ambani and Kavita Mankikar, Arjun Patil and Ramesh Jindal to April 16.
While seeking extension of Ambani’s custody, CBI claimed he, being the president (finance), was fully aware of the fraudulent and illegal LoUs issued by co-accused Gokulnath Shetty on behalf of the three firms. The agency also claimed that Ambani had met the accused bank officials and had dishonestly tried to mislead the bank to cover up the crime.
The Enforcement Directorate probing money laundering of funds obtained through LoUs issued from PNB bank has obtained a letter of request (LR - letter of Rogatory) for two more countries namely Singapore and Kingdom of Bahrain against diamond merchant Nirav Modi.
The agency has sought information of Modi’s business activities, account details and also properties so placed in the two countries from the respective authorities. The LRs so issued would be sent to two government authorities through ministry of external affairs for its execution.