The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday sealed a branch of the Punjab National Bank (PNB) located in South Mumbai that is said to be the center of the fraud that hit the state-run lender. In course of the investigation, the police also questioned some more of the bank’s employees.
The CBI officials pasted a notice on the PNB Brady Road branch premises in south Mumbai barring anyone from entering the office.
The police also searched the premises on Sunday and questioned five more employees from the bank, increasing the number of staffers who have been questioned so far to 11. Sources informed that some executives from Nirav Modi’s group have also been questioned.
Earlier on Sunday, three people, two of whom are employees of the bank were presented before a court in Mumbai. PNB has said that the two employees issued fraudulent letters of undertaking to branches of Indian banks located overseas which lent money to the jewellers based on the guarantee from PNB.
Another public sector bank, the UCO Bank, said over the weekend that it had approximately $412 million in exposure to the fraudulent transactions carried out at Punjab National Bank, sending its shares down more than 12 percent in Monday trading.
Union Bank of India and State Bank of India are among other banks which have said they had exposure to the fraudulent transactions.
PNB’s shares have been sliding for four days straight and on Monday, they fell 6.7 percent by 0614 GMT. The sell-off has wiped out about $1.7 billion, or more than a quarter of the bank’s market value, since it revealed the fraud last week. Stocks of other banks with exposure to the fraudulent transactions that as per PNB began in 2011 also fell.