LIVE: “Nirav Modi has given a vague offer” – PNB MD on Nirav Modi issue

Sunil Mehta, MD of Punjab National Bank today denied that billionaire diamond merchant Nirav Modi has offered a concrete proposal to repay the $1.77 bln that he’s accused to embezzling.

Speaking at a press conference called to address the allegations and controversies surrounding the ‘scam’, Mehta said he cannot go into the details, given that the investigations are at an early stage.

“They have not come up with any concrete proposal for repayment so far,” he said, calling it “a vague offer”, which, he said, is under examination.

Modi is accused to working with rogue employees who sent official messages that were reproduced by Modi to ease the allocation of loans from other Indian banks.

Mehta said PNB will not refuse to honor the commitments made by the rogue employees, based on which other banks have advanced thousands of crores of rupees.

“If the onus is on us for repayment (under the line of credit), we will pay. We are not going back on it.”

Mehta also said that not a single rupee has so far gone out of the bank, which is what made it more difficult to trace the racket that has been going on for around seven years.

It came to light, he said, when a customer came up to renew a letter of credit — a kind of guarantee — but bank officials could not find any record of the LoC.

It is said that two employees of the bank played a crucial role in keeping the fake LoC’s from coming to the attention of others at the bank. But one of them retired recently.

“We have taken action against those officials who have been found deficient in supervising the issue. We will not tolerate any misdemeanor.

We are looking at this as a cancer. We will not spare anybody, be it senior or junior.”