PNB Fraud: Gitanjali's CFO, VP and board member quit

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On Feb 19, two top executives and an independent director of Gitanjali Gems Ltd have resigned.

The fraud, which included money-laundering among others, concerned the Firestar Diamonds group in which the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) booked Modi, his wife Ami, brother Nishal Modi and uncle and business partner Mehul Choksi - the promoter of luxury jewellery brand Gitanjali Gems.

The company's vice-president (compliance) and company secretary Pankhuri has resigned with effect from 13 February, while Karkare has resigned from the post of CFO effective from 15 February, Gitanjali said in a regulatory filing. However, Warange, in her resignation letter addressed to Mehul Choksi, warned that lack of disclosure could have an impact on the firm.

"The recent events (which have) unfolded in the organisation requires the company to make disclosures under the Companies Act 2013 and the Sebi (listing obligation and disclosure) requirements 2015. The absence of disclosures will have ramifications not just on the company but also on the key managerial personnel", the report quoted her resignation. I have advised the management on the required disclosures to be made. The scam involved bank officials allegedly handing out fake Letters of Understanding on behalf of companies associated with Modi, which allowed him to access massive foreign exchange loans that were completely unsecured.

Two days later, CFO Chandrakant Karkare also put in his papers, but for personal reasons.

Warange, who also operated as the company secretary, cited the ongoing investigation of a Rs 11,400 crore scam as trigger to her "conscious" stand to resign. "This has resulted in restriction on me carrying responsibilities as CFO and will be very hard for me in future.Kindly accept my resignation from the post of CFO with immediate effect". The board was scheduled to meet on February 14 to consider the quarterly results.

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