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PNB Scam-tainted Mehul Choksi Tells Employees Can’t Pay Salaries, Look for New Jobs

Mehul Choksi's company, Gitanjali Gems, employs over 3,500 people, The open letter, released by his lawyer Sanjay Abbott, expressed “helplessness” at the situation and asked employees to look for other jobs.

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Updated:February 24, 2018, 3:27 PM IST
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PNB Scam-tainted Mehul Choksi Tells Employees Can’t Pay Salaries, Look for New Jobs
File photo of Mehul Choksi. (YouTube)
New Delhi: Diamond merchant Mehul Choksi, who along with his nephew Nirav Modi is the main accused in the Punjab National Bank scam, has written an open letter to his employees.

In the letter, released by his lawyer Sanjay Abbot, he expressed “helplessness” and told the employees that their salaries would not be paid in time. Choksi’s company, Gitanjali Gems, employs over 3,500 people.

“I am facing a lot of problems due to the manner in which the multiple investigative agencies/ government agencies have started to create a havoc, hell bent upon stopping the operations (of Gitanjali Gems),” he said in the letter, as quoted by ANI. “I will face my destiny and I know I have done nothing wrong and ultimately the truth shall prevail,” the letter added.

Highlighting the "situation of fear and injustice" created against him and the company, the letter suggested to employees that in view of the uncertainty looming over payment of dues, termination of office operations, and "unfair investigation", they begin scouting for alternate career options.

The letter clarified that laptops, mobile phones issued by the organisation can remain with employees until dues were cleared, adding that relieving letters and experience certificates would be issued to them when necessary.

Choksi, along with Modi, is accused in the Rs 11,400 crore PNB scam. The scam came to light after the state-run bank informed the stock exchange about the fraudulent transactions on February 14.

The alleged fraud occurred as one PNB deputy manager, with the assistance of one or more colleagues, issued more than 100 fraudulent LOUs for firms linked to Modi and Choksi. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested some half a dozen bank officials, including the two junior Mumbai officials, as well as employees of companies controlled by Modi and Choksi. Lawyers and families of the accused officials have denied any wrongdoing. Both Modi and Choksi left the country last month before the issue came to light.

On Friday, both Nirav Modi and Choksi did not appeared before Enforcement Directorate despite summons. ED has issued fresh summons under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). They have to appear on February 26.

Nirav Modi on Thursday made it clear that he can't appear and depose before the ED. In an emailed reply to the ED’s investigating officer, he cited the temporary suspension of his passport and pending business issues as reasons for his non-appearance before the probe agency. The CBI and the ED have registered two FIRs each in the case.

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| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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