Punjab & Sind Bank reveals $441 million loan exposure to Mehul Choksi
Punjab & Sind Bank has a $441 million (Rs 2,933.9 crore) loan exposure to jewellery tycoon Mehul Choksi, the public sector bank revealed on October 12. The bank named Choksi a “wilful defaulter” on September 17, 2019.
Choksi has been implicated in yet another banking scandal as PSB revealed for the first time on Saturday that it too has loan exposure to the accused fraudulent jeweller, Indo-Asian News Service reported. The bank stated that Choksi owes it $441 million in unpaid loans taken in the name of his jewellery business Gitanjali Gems Ltd, including its merged entity Gitanjali Exports Ltd.
PSB demanded that Choksi pay back the loan with interest and extra costs, effective from October 23, 2018 onwards. Two other government owned banks, the Oriental Bank of Commerce and State Bank of India, have also revealed that they have exposure to Choksi in the ongoing fraud case.
Choksi is believed to still be residing in Antigua after fleeing India before news of the fraud scandal, which began with the alleged fraud at the Punjab National Bank, broke in the media. Indian authorities are working with Antigua and Barbuda’s authorities to start extradition proceedings with the aim of bringing Choksi back to India to stand trial. Choksi’s nephew and fellow accessed jeweller, Nirav Modi, is currently being held in a UK jail as he awaits his extradition trial next year.
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