May 14, 2018 / 5:27 AM / a few seconds ago

Top Indian bank officials likely to face charges in PNB case: source

NEW DELHI, May 14 (Reuters) - Indian investigators will bring charges against senior bank officials on Monday following an investigation into the $2 billion fraud at state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB), a police source told Reuters.

PNB, India’s second-largest state-run bank, disclosed in February that two jewellery groups had defrauded it by raising credit from overseas branches of other Indian banks using illegal guarantees issued by rogue PNB staff over several years.

Following its probe, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will on Monday file a charge sheet in a court naming people who have allegedly violated Indian law by their involvement in the bank fraud, a police source said.

The charge sheet will “likely” name senior Indian bank officials, the source said, without sharing further details.

A court would later decide which charges should be faced by those accused in the case. The source could not be identified in line with federal police rules.

PNB declined to comment. The bank has been conducting a separate internal investigation into the fraud and has already suspended at least 21 officials.

Indian authorities have arrested at least 20 people and a court has issued non-bailable warrants against accused jewellers Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi. The duo have denied the allegations against them, and authorities said they both left the country before the fraud was uncovered.

After the fraud - the biggest in Indian banking history - was reported, the government criticised inadequate oversight by auditors and regulators in the country.

Reporting by Aditya Kalra, Abhirup Roy, Krishna Das; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani

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