New Delhi: The CBI is questioning Vipul Ambani, the Chief Financial Officer of diamantaire Nirav Modi’s company Fire Star diamond, and carrying out a search operation at the Brady Road branch of the Punjab National Bank (PNB) in Mumbai, officials said.
They said Ambani had been holding the position for over three years and is believed to have been aware of the financial transactions carried out by the company of the jeweller-businessman, who fled the country before PNB reported the Rs 11,384-crore fraud.
Ambani is understood to be a relative of the late industrialist, Dhirubhai Ambani.
The CBI had intensified its searches last evening at the branch where the alleged fraudulent transactions took place.
A CBI spokesperson said here today the branch was briefly sealed early this morning to prevent any “possible tampering”.
He said the seal and the notice were removed during the day.
“The PNB Branch was secured with a seal briefly during the wee hours so as to prevent any inadvertent or unauthorised opening by concerned PNB staff. Today the seal and notice at the branch premises were removed,” he said.
He said it was a time-bound security measure to prevent possible tampering which did not affect the regular business at the branch since today is a local holiday in Maharashtra for Shivaji Jayanti.
The CBI yesterday started a search operation at the Brady Road branch in Mumbai of PNB, which is at the centre of the colossal banking fraud involving billionaire jewellers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.
The agency continued interrogating two arrested PNB officials and an authorised signatory of Nirav Modi’s company, the officials said.
The probe agency has also started interrogating five other officials, including general manager-level employees, taking the total number of officials being questioned to 11, they said.
CBI officials said the agency is still questioning arrested bank officials Gokulnath Shetty, who has retired, and Manoj Kharat, the signatory of Nirav Modi’s company, besides other officials of PNB, to find out more about the money trail and the depth of the alleged scam involving thousands of documents and digital records.
The CBI is also examining the financial transactions of 18 India-based subsidiaries of the Gitanjali group of companies promoted by Choksi to understand the money trail of funds taken from various banks on the basis of guarantees of Rs 11,384 crore furnished by the Punjab National Bank, the officials said.