PNB Fraud: ED Arrests Mehul Choksi's Aide Deepak Kulkarni At Kolkata Airport
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday, November 5 arrested Deepak Kulkarni, the aide of fugitive jeweller Mehul Choksi at Kolkata airport in connection with the money-laundering probe in the USD 2-billion PNB fraud case which unfolded earlier this year.
Deepak Kulkarni, an associate of #MehulChoksi has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in Kolkata after he landed at the airport from Hong Kong. Kulkarni was the director of Choksi’s dummy firm in Hong Kong. A Look Out Circular was issued against him by ED and CBI earlier pic.twitter.com/AJxfhr695c
— ANI (@ANI) November 6, 2018
Arrested at Kolkata Airport
Reportedly, he was arrested at the Kolkata airport after he landed from his trip to Hong Kong. According to NDTV, Kulkarni was arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and is expected to be produced before the court on Tuesday, November 6. Officials said that the ED would seek a transit remand to take him to Mumbai, where the case is registered.
Reportedly, he was the director of a Hong Kong-based “dummy” firm which has been linked to the overseas affairs of Choksi. Additionally, the ED has also named him in a charge sheet which was filed in connection to the case earlier and a Mumbai court has also issued a non-bailable warrant against him. Reportedly, the arrest took place after a tipoff at the airport since there was a lookout order issued against the executive.
Mehul Chinubhai Choksi is an alleged mastermind behind India’s biggest banking fraud which involved Choksi and his companies who would avail credit from overseas branches of Indian banks with the help of guarantees from Punjab National Bank. PNB would grant the guarantee through letters of undertaking (LoU). A LoU is a Letter of Undertaking issued by drawer’s bank to Indian bank having branches abroad to grant short-term credit to the applicant. These letters were not repaid by Choksi and companies which imposed complete liability on PNB. His nephew Nirav Modi is equally involved in the case, and the probe against the two is underway.
While both are absconding, the Indian authorities are making efforts to extradite Choksi from Antigua where he is believed to have taken refuge and even a citizenship.