Mumbai: A special court here remanded Vipul Ambani, the president (finance) of Nirav Modi's Fire Star Diamond, and five others in CBI custody till March 5 in connection with the Rs 11,400 crore alleged fraud in Punjab National Bank (PNB).
The six were arrested on Tuesday in connection with two FIRs registered by the CBI involving Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, the owner of Gitanjali Gems.
The FIRs are related to fraudulent issuance of 150 Letters of Undertaking (LoU), a kind of bank guarantee, worth Rs 6,498 crore and 143 LoUs worth Rs 4,886 crore, issued during 2011-17.
Ambani, Kavita Mankikar (executive assistant and authorised signatory of three firms--Diamond R US, Stellar Diamond, Solar Exports), Arjun Patil (senior executive, Firestar group), and Rajesh Jindal, the then head of the Brady House branch of PNB, were listed as accused in the FIR registered by the CBI on January 31.
Those arrested in connection with Choksi's firms are Nakshatra group and Gitanjali group CFO Kapil Khandelwal and Gitanjali group manager Niten Shahi.
The six were remanded in CBI custody till March 5 by Special Court Judge S R Tamboli.
According to the CBI, "there is every reason" to believe that Shahi had actively participated in the conspiracy and was aware of other conspirators, the modus operandi adopted and of the end-use of defrauded funds.
On Khandelwal's role, the CBI said he was reporting to Choksi and was privy to all transactions, including the illegal ones.
On Ambani's role, the agency said being the finance department's head from May 2013 to November 2017, he was aware of the fraudulent and illegal LOUs which were being issued by Shetty in conspiracy and guidance of Modi and other employees.
He was visiting and meeting not only the Brady House branch officials of PNB but also the officials of its circle and zonal offices.
"Ambani's knowledge of the fraudulent transactions is proved from the fact that during searches at his office, the applications of fraudulent LoUs made to PNB by the three firms of Nirav Modi were seized," the CBI stated in its remand application.
"The documents and circumstances prove his (Ambani's) knowledge of the fraudulent applications for LOUs being made in the same premises of Firestar group companies.
"They also prove deliberate acts of omission by Ambani by not protesting the issuance of such fraudulent LoUs that led to the continuance of concealment and large-scale fraud in this case of PNB and loss and diversion of thousands of crores of public funds. This fact prove his part in this sinister conspiracy to cheat PNB," the agency said.