Top officials of ICICI and Axis banks have told an anti-fraud agency that recovery of loans worth Rs 1,000 crore seemed impossible from the Nirav Modi and Gitanjali Group of companies.
According to sources, ICICI Bank Executive Director N.S. Kannan and Axis Bank Deputy Managing Director V. Srinivasan, who appeared before the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO) in Mumbai on Tuesday, told investigators that there was “no visible possibility” of recovering the money from the companies owned by fugitive jewellers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.
Kannan told the anti-fraud agency, which comes under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and probes white-collar economic crimes, that its exposure to these entities was Rs 800 crore.
Srinivasan also confirmed that his bank had lent Rs 200 crore to the two groups.
According to the sources, both said that there was “no visible possibility of any recovery”.
The anti-fraud agency on Tuesday asked ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar and Axis Bank’s Shikha Sharma to appear in presence or send representatives to explain to SFIO how much their banks had lent to jeweller Nirav Modi and his partner and uncle Mehul Choksi. The two have fled the country.