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India’s federal investigator seals PNB branch at heart of billion dollar bank fraud

India's federal police have sealed the Mumbai branch of Punjab National Bank (PNB) which is at the heart of a $1.77 billion loan fraud involving billionaire jeweler Nirav Modi

The premier investigative agency and security service of India, the Central Bureau of Investigation put sealed locks on the shutters of the bank branch and pasted a notice against entering the bank after conducting an extensive search of the Brady road branch of PNB.

The government is making unprecedented efforts in the case, said junior foreign minister of India M J Akbar. The number of raids and follow-up actions taken on the matter is extraordinary, added Akbar.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) of India also conducted raids at a jewelry showroom belonging to key accused Modi in a mall in India’s western Pune city and seized some properties. The raids were also conducted at a number of other jewelry showrooms belonging to Modi in western Aurangabad and eastern Kolkata city.

Local media reported that assets worth Rs 57.16 billion rupees ($885 million) were seized in the raids till now. A total of 39 raids were conducted on Monday, out of which 10 were in Mumbai. Three people, including two employees of PNB, India’s second largest state-run lender, were arrested and presented before a Mumbai court over the weekend.

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