PNB fraud: ED gets warrant to arrest former Mumbai branch bank official Gokulnath Shetty
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is set to make the second arrest in connection with the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case for money laundering. The central agency on Tuesday obtained the production warrant for former deputy manager of the bank’s Brady House branch, Gokulnath Shetty.
Presently in judicial custody, Shetty was one of the first three people arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the PNB fraud case. On Tuesday, ED moved a plea before the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court seeking production warrant, transferring Shetty’s custody from the jail.
It is claimed by investigating agencies that during Shetty’s posting at the foreign exchange department, the Letter of Undertakings (LoUs) to the various companies owned by Nirav Modi, were sanctioned without following due process. In the plea, the agency claimed that Shetty appears to be a key conspirator and also an actor in laundering of money generated through LoUs.
The agency now wants to confront Shetty with statements of other suspects and witnesses and records gathered by the agency. The special PMLA court has allowed the plea of the agency and has also asked ED to inform the CBI court before taking custody of Shetty.
Meanwhile, ED has also obtained permission to interrogate some of the accused arrested by CBI and are lodged in jail which include Hemant Bhatt, Bachchu Tiwari and Praful Sawant. The agency claimed that they need to confront them with records and documents.
ED has also sought for the judicial custody of Shyam Sunder Wadhwa, vice president (finance) of M/s Firestar Group and a close confidante of jeweller Nirav Modi. Wadhwa was arrested last week by the agency and has been remanded to judicial custody. Meanwhile, his lawyer Hemant Zariwala has moved a bail plea for him. ED has been asked to file a reply on his bail plea.