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PNB Scam: ED files chargesheet against Mehul Choksi, Names him mastermind

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Mehul Choksi

New Delhi, July 27: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday filed a charge-sheet against diamond jeweller Mehul Choksi naming him the “mastermind” of the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud.

The charge-sheet was filed in Mumbai court. It stated, “Mehul Choksi is the “mastermind” behind the behemoth scam.

According to the charge-sheet, Choksi designed the entire scheme of scam and the movement of the money under the garb of import and export.”

“These companies had directors/partners who acted as dummies while ultimate decision making was only with Choksi”.

“Some of these companies used for receiving proceeds of crime and also for laying, siphoning and parking of funds”, the ED added.

Meanwhile, Choksi claimed that he had taken Antigua citizenship last year to expand his business as the passport of the Caribbean nation provides visa-free travel to 132 countries, as per the local Antigua media.

In a statement issued to a Caribbean newspaper ‘Antigua Observer’, the jeweller through his attorney David Dorsett said: “I can say categorically, that there is no truth in those allegations”.

On or about July 24, the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) issued a press statement in response to an online story from an Indian media outlet reporting on certain allegations made against Choksi by the Indian authorities and the media.

According to this CIU statement on Wednesday, Choksi was granted citizenship by registration in November 2017 and he swore the Oath of Allegiance in Antigua on January 15, 2018.

The CIU also said that Choksi’s application was granted “after robust due diligence and international investigation by reputable agencies, including the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) and the CARICOM Implementing Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS)”.

Choksi had reportedly fled the country in  January, nearly a fortnight before weeks before country’s biggest banking fraud unearthed.

For those unversed, the PNB had detected the multi-crore scam this year in February, wherein Nirav and business-partner Mehul Choksi had allegedly defrauded the nationalised bank to the tune of over Rs13,000 crore, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the lender.

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India

450 jobless Indian workers forced to begin Saudi, shifted to detention centres

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the situation of the economy of many countries has worsened. The effect can be seen in Saudi Arabia as well. As there are no jobs 450 Indian workers have no other choice but to beg for survival.

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jobless Indian workers in Saudi

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the situation of the economy of many countries has worsened. The effect can be seen in Saudi Arabia as well. As there are no jobs 450 Indian workers have no other choice but to beg for survival.

The workers are mainly from the states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Delhi, Rajasthan and Karnataka. The work permits of these workers have now expired and thus they have to beg as their situation is worse.

These workers are now being shifted to detention centres. Videos have gone viral where the workers are being taken to the Shumaisi detention centre in Jeddah. Among the workers 39 belong to the state of Uttar Pradesh, 10 belong to Bihar, 5 are from Telangana and four each from the state of J and K, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Workers said that they have not committed any crime but had to beg as they had lost their jobs and were helpless.

Social worker and MBT leader Amjed Khan told TOI that the workers with an expired work permit were taken to detention centres .

A total of 2.4 lakh Indians were reported to return to the country but only 40,000 have made it so far.

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Priyanka accuses Yogi govt of dithering on giving jobs to 4,000 Urdu teachers

“Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and her party had given a slogan before the 2017 UP Assembly polls — 25 saal, UP behaal” (25 years, UP in poor condition).

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Lucknow, Sep 19 : Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday accused the Yogi Adityanath government of obstructing the appointment of over 4,000 Urdu teachers who have already cleared the test for the job.

“Had a conversation with 4,000 Urdu teacher aspirants. All the aspirants came in the merit list, and are eligible to get jobs. But, the government is putting up obstructions in their way of getting jobs.

he BJP Government in UP should be in the role of providing jobs, but it is working to obstruct appointments,” Priyanka Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi. Reacting to her tweet, UP BJP media co-convenor Navin Srivastava, said, “Some of the recruitment processes have been held up because of technical reasons. But the government is trying to remove all obstructions and resolve them at the earliest.”

He also said the recruitments made during the BJP regime under Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath may have been at a slow pace, but transparent and free from corruption. Srivastava also asked Gandhi if she supports the way appointments were made by the Congress-backed Akhilesh Yadav government and which later came under the scanner.

“Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and her party had given a slogan before the 2017 UP Assembly polls — 25 saal, UP behaal” (25 years, UP in poor condition).

And, later they contested the polls with the so-called ”vikaas purush” (Akhilesh Yadav).

“Many of the recruitments made during that government came under the scanner. Priyanka should tell whether she supports the way the recruitments took place during the Samajwadi Party rule in UP,” she said.

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Telangana HC to watch web series before nod for release

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The Telangana High Court will watch the web series ‘Bad Boy Billionaires’ before deciding whether to permit over-the-top platform Netflix to release it or not.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy decided to watch the documentary based on the life of Satyam Computers founder B Ramalinga Raju and others while hearing an appeal by Netflix Entertainment Services to set aside a lower court order that restrained it from broadcasting the series.

The bench on Friday directed the counsel for Raju to file a counter affidavit in the appeal filed by Netflix.

During his arguments, Netflix counsel Neeraj Kishan Kaul submitted that the documentary has been made on the basis of material available in the public domain. He said that the trial court had stalled the release without hearing the OTT platform.

He brought to the court’s notice that Ramalinga Raju and others were already convicted in the Satyam scam case. He also argued that the airing of the web series would have no impact on Raju’s appeal against his conviction.

Kaul, a senior Supreme Court lawyer, suggested to the bench to watch the documentary. However, the Judges told him to watch the documentary along with Raju’s counsel S Niranjan Reddy as this would clear the doubts, if any.

Kaul did not agree with the suggestion on the ground that it would set a bad precedent of seeking prior permission for the release of any documentary. He also contended that staying the release of the documentary after watching the 49-second trailer is a violation of freedom of expression and of the press.

The bench, however, remarked that freedom of press should have self-regulation.While deciding to watch the documentary, the bench posted the case to September 25 for further hearing.

On September 1, a city civil court had restrained Netflix from airing the series over Raju’s objections.

The documentary based on the lives of liquor baron Vijay Mallya, diamantaire Nirav Modi, Sahara India Group chief Subrata Roy and Raju was scheduled to be released on September 2.

Raju had sought a stay on the release of the web series on the ground that it would invade his privacy, defame him, and may also impact his appeal against his conviction in the Satyam case.

Netflix has already released the trailer of the web series.The over Rs 7,000-crore Satyam scam came to light on January 7, 2009 when Raju confessed that the company’s account books and profits were inflated over many years to the tune of several crores of rupees.

A special CBI court on April 9, 2015 sentenced Raju, his two brothers and seven others to seven years in prison in the case, said to be India’s biggest corporate fraud.

However, a month later the Metropolitan Sessions court suspended their sentence. Raju, his brother Rama Raju and the company’s former Chief Financial Officer Srinivas Vadlamani were released on bail in 2018.

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