Punjab National Bank to hire detectives to get a grip on fraudsters

Crisis-hit lender Punjab National Bank (PNB) has launched advertisements to hire detective agencies to “significantly supplement efforts of its officials in recovering dues”. These detectives will help the bank locate borrowers, co-borrowers, guarantors in and outside India, including their legal heirs who are either untraceable or not available at the addresses given in the bank’s records, according to an advertisement uploaded on the bank’s website.

The detective agency must ascertain the latest information about defaulting borrowers present addresses, occupations, business, income streams, details of their all assets, whether charged or uncharged, their location (whether in India or abroad), value and ownership, etc.; give details of bank accounts and credit facilities availed by the defaulting borrowers including their legal heirs.

They also want to confirm the present state of ownership of the secured assets of defaulting borrowers by personal visits or market reports duly confirmed by the documents. They plan to gather any other information which the bank cannot access by utilising normal channels like CIBIL or internet or local enquiries and which may be considered necessary by the bank for the recovery of the bank’s dues.

PNB has also given the eligibility criteria for allocation of accounts to detective agencies, “All NPA accounts under any category i.e. sub-standard, doubtful and loss category (whether non-suit filed, suit filed or decreed) shall be covered by the policy in which engagement of detective agency seemed appropriate, as per the requirement,” said a statement from the bank. Investigating authorities have accused diamond merchants Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi of masterminding the country’s biggest banking sector scam – estimated at Rs 13,000 crore – at the Brady House branch of PNB by using fake guarantees