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India’s PNB discloses $145 million additional exposure in fraud probe – document

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MUMBAI (Reuters) – India’s Punjab National Bank has told police that it has uncovered additional exposure of about 9.42 billion rupees ($145.2 million) in connection with a massive alleged fraud, according to a court filing seen by Reuters

 In what has been dubbed as the biggest fraud in India’s banking history, PNB, the country’s second-biggest state-run lender, said last month it had been defrauded of about $2 billion by two jewelry groups who raised credit from overseas banks based on fraudulent guarantees issued in collusion with rogue PNB staff.
 In a court filing on Tuesday, police said the Gitanjali group of companies controlled by jeweler Mehul Choksi allegedly defrauded PNB of 70.8 billion rupees ($1.09 billion). PNB had previously pegged its exposure to the Gitanjali companies at 61.38 billion rupees.

The new disclosure takes PNB’s overall exposure in the still unraveling fraud case to well over the $2 billion mark.

A lawyer for Gitanjali group’s head, Mehul Choksi, said he was unaware of the new allegations and declined to comment. Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi, who is the other main accused in the case, have both denied any wrongdoing.

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