Another banking fraud? SBI charges Chennai-based Kanishk Gold of duping 14 banks to the tune of Rs 1,000 cr: Report

The State Bank of India (SBI), the largest state-owned lender in country, has accused jewellery chain Kanishk Gold of cheating as many as 14 banks including the Punjab National Bank (PNB) to the tune of Rs 824 crore, according to this Times of India report. The amount of defrauded money could go up to Rs 1,000 crore if the interest accrued is also added to that, the report said.

Chennai-based Kanishk Gold has a registered office in T Nagar and is owned by promoters and directors Bhoopesh Kumar Jain and his wife Neeta Jain, according to Times of India report.

The SBI has already brought up the matter and has sought help from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which has not filed any case in the matter as yet.

The public sector bank further claims Chennai based jeweller defaulted on interest payments first time in March 2017 to eight member banks. It has also been alleged that Kanishk stopped payments to all 14 banks by as late as April 2017. The bankers were unable to trace the promoter when it initiated its stock audit on 5 April, the report said.

Representational image. Reuters.

The group of banks that has loaned money to Kanishk also said so far they were unable to get in touch with the husband and wife duo who were untraceable since past many months. The couple is currently believed to be living in Mauritius, the report added.

The SBI also claims it was the first among the 14 banks to bring up the matter and had informed the Reserve Bank of India in November 2011. According to the documents, the jewellery chain Kanishk Gold had been extended loans since the year 2007.

The latest banking fraud comes just weeks after the gigantic Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud was revealed on 14 February causing a whopping Rs 13,600 crore loss to the bank. Diamantair Nirav Modi, his uncle Mehul Choksi are the prime accused in the case. The Nirav Modi masterminded scam has sent shockwaves across the banking sector which has already been affected due to large NPA issue.

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