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Will not spare anyone, Modi says days after looters fled the country

Saturday February 24, 2018 8:47 AM, & Agencies

Modi Speech
[File photo]

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said his government will take stringent action against financial irregularities and not tolerate loot of public money, breaking his silence more than a week after India’s second largest bank PNB said it had been defrauded of over Rs 11,400 crore.

“I want to make it clear that this government has been taking strict action against financial irregularities and will continue to take strict action,” he said at Global Business Summit organised by Economic Times. “System will not tolerate loot of public money,” Modi said in a direct reference to the PNB fraud involving diamantaire Nirav Modi.

Without naming Nirav Modi, or Punjab National Bank, the prime minister said the management of financial institutions, auditors and regulators should perform their duty with full dedication.

“I want to make an appeal to those who have been entrusted with the job of framing rules and policies and maintaining ethics to do their job diligently and with dedication,” he said, adding this should specially be followed by those who have been entrusted with the responsibility of supervision and monitoring.

Nirav Modi, whose diamond creations have draped Hollywood stars such as Kate Winslet and Dakota Johnson, and firms linked to him are alleged to have acquired fraudulent letters of undertaking (LoUs) from one PNB branch in Mumbai between 2011 and 2017 to obtain loans from Indian banks overseas. Investigative agencies have raided Modi’s properties and arrested bank employees.

The opposition parties led by the Congress directly link Nirav Modi with Prime Minister Modi after the former's photos with the latter surfaced in the media. While Congress called Nirav "Chota Modi", Rahul Gandhi went a step ahead and called PM Modi himself the "instrument corruption".

With report of the PNB scam, reports also came that Nirav Modi and other accused in the case have already fled the country. Nirav even sent a letters from abroad saying by going public on the matter the Punjab National Bank (PNB) has closed all options of getting back its money.


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