16022018-TTC-01.qxd 2/16/2018 1:16 AM Page 1 13 established in 1881 friday, february 16, 2018 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 2 no. 46 | 16 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2018-2020 /thetribunechd /thetribunechd Alerted on scam, govt did nothing: Cong BANKING FRAUD: Releases letter to PMO dated July 26, 2016, flagging fiscal bungling Tribune News Service New Delhi, February 15 Even as the ED today conducted multiple searches in connection with a Rs 280 crore money-laundering case against billionaire jewellery designer Nirav Modi and others following a complaint by the Punjab National Bank (PNB) and seized diamonds, jewellery and gold worth Rs 5,100 crore, the Congress, targeted the PM, saying he could not escape responsibility for the banking scam worth Rs 11,400 crore. With the government under Opposition fire, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, told the media that Nirav Modi was not part of the delegation to Davos led by the PM. As the fraud unfolded, the Congress today released a letter dated July 26, 2016, revealing how the PMO knew then of the scam in the making. The letter by complainant Hari Prasad flagged “financial fraud” worth thousands of crores by Nirav Modi’s uncle Mehul Choksi, Chairman and MD, Gitanjali Gems, and sought action.The PMO acknowledged the complaint and referred it to the Registrar of Companies (ROC) for action. The ROC did not act. Nor did the PMO follow up. Attacking the PMO for inaction, Congress media head Randeep Surjewala, said: “Though the complaint was only against Mehul Choksi, the fact remains that Choksi is the uncle of Nirav Modi and both are joint shareholders in the company mentioned in the complaint .” Though the BJP sought to pin the blame on the Congress, saying the scam began unfolding in 2011, the Congress retorted: “When did the PNB continued on page 7 Edit: Loot with Impunity Army launches fire assaults along LoC New Delhi: Faced with more than 400 Pakistan-backed terrorists awaiting to infiltrate into India, the Indian Army has adopted an approach to launch coordinated fire assaults along the Line of Control (LoC), indicating that action will continue. The Director General of Pakistan’s InteServices Public Relations (ISPR) used Twitter to criticise the Indian Army’s action “across the LoC.” PAGE 7 17 dead in Florida high school shooting Parkland (Florida): Nikolas Cruz, 19, expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, for disciplinary reasons was arrested on 17 counts of murder on Thursday, the morning after the authorities said he opened fire at the school, unleashing one of the deadliest school shootings in US history. Nikolas was armed with an AR-15-style rifle, the police said. PAGE 13 Keep off disputed area: China to India Beijing: China on Thursday expressed opposition to PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing claims as its own. “The Chinese government has never recognised the so-called Arunachal Pradesh and is firmly opposed to the Indian leader’s visit to the disputed area,” Chinese foreign ministry said in response to Modi’s visit to the state. IANS IN AUGUST COMPANY: A handout photo released by India’s Press Information Bureau on January 23, 2018, shows Prime Minister Narendra Modi (bottom row, C) posing for a group photograph with Indian chief executives, including billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi (encircled), at the World Economic Forum in Davos. PTI Nirav Modi fled Was not part of ‘Chhota Modi’ India on Jan 1 Davos team: GoI jibe riles BJP Shiv Kumar Smita Sharma Vibha Sharma Tribune News Service Tribune News Service Tribune News Service Mumbai, February 15 Diamond merchant Nirav Modi, wanted for allegedly defrauding the Punjab National Bank (PNB) of over Rs 11,000 crore, left India with his family on January 1 this year, say Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sources. Modi, his wife Ami, brother Nishal and relative Mehul Choksi, all wanted in connection with the bank fraud, left India weeks before the PNB filed a case against them with the CBI. While Modi is an Indian citizen, his wife holds American citizenship and his brother Nishal is a citizen of Belgium. continued on page 7 New Delhi, February 15 Official sources, confirming that jeweller Nirav Modi was indeed seen in the same frame as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, explained he was not a part of the PM’s official delegation whose core team comprised the National Security Adviser, Foreign Secretary, Foreign Ministry spokesperson and senior officials in the Ministry of External Affairs and the Prime Minister’s Office on most foreign tours. “The Prime Minister after coming out of a meeting was asked to come for a photo shoot with some Indian businesspersons. continued on page 7 New Delhi, February 15 The BJP termed as “shameful, derogatory, scandalous and demeaning” Congress' “chhota Modi” remark against absconding diamond merchant Nirav Modi, insinuating ties with the PM. Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad attributed the Congress’ attack to its “anger and frustration over repeated electoral defeats.” Asserting that Nirav Modi was not a part of the business delegation accompanying PM Narendra Modi to the World Economic Forum at Davos, the Union Minister promised that no one who had bypassed the continued on page 7 WHO IS PROTECTING NIRAV: CONG Loot and run away has become a character under this government. When the PMO was in the know of the scam as of July 2016, why did it not act? Who is protecting Nirav Modi? RS Surjewala, CONG SPOKESPERSON ❝ GUILTY WILL NOT BE SPARED: BJP No one, irrespective of stature, will be spared... Taxpayers’ money won’t be allowed to go waste. Ravi Shankar Prasad, UNION MINISTER ❝ PNB: Will take strong action Tribune News Service New Delhi, February 15 Scam-hit Punjab National Bank (PNB) today said it will take strong action against the culprits in the Rs 11,400-crore Nirav Modi fraud case. PNB CMD Sunil Mehta said the bank detected the fraud and referred the matter to the law enforcement agencies. “The bank in its full capacity will take every action to book wrongdoers. This fraud had started in 2011. Our bank detected it first and told the law enforcement agencies about this. PNB is fully committed to its clean banking policy. That is why we are the first ones to detect and report this to various law enforcement agencies,” he said. Mehta said it was a standalone incident confined to a single branch in Mumbai. All other branches have been scanned for fraudulent activity. The bank had informed lenders about the case, he said. “We have issued advisory as well to them. We were the first to inform SEBI about this under the disclosure norms. So all these things are as per our clean banking agenda,” Mehta added. He said Nirav had made “vague” repayment offers. “Nirav has not come out with any concrete plan to repay so far. But they’re coming out with some vague offers, which are under examination,” said Mehta. NO CASTE BIAS: SHAH The BJP does not believe in favouring a particular caste. The party stands for ‘sabka vikas’ (development for all) without any prejudice... The Khattar government has ended the politics of corruption and loot. ❝ Amit Shah, BJP CHIEF IN JIND INSIDE 2 IAF PILOTS KILLED IN ASSAM CRASH Majuli (Assam): Two Indian Air Force pilots were killed in a crash in Assam’s Majuli island on Thursday, minutes after their microlight aircraft took off from Jorhat air base on a routine sortie around noon, defence officials said. The wreckage of the twoseater plane has been sighted and a court of inquiry ordered. The pilots — Wing Commander Jai Paul James and Wing Commander D Vats — attempted an emergency landing but the aircraft crashed at a sand bar in the northern part of the district and went up in flames, officials said. TNS & PTI
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