FinMin tells banks to collect passport details of big borrowers

The Finance Ministry has directed state-owned banks to obtain passport details of all borrowers, who have taken loans in excess of Rs 50 crore, within 45 days with a view to preventing alleged fraudsters like Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya from fleeing the country, sources said.

In case the borrower does not have a passport, the bank should obtain a certificate in the form of declaration that the person does not have the passport, sources said quoting the Finance Ministry’s advisory to banks.

It further said that the loan application form should be suitably modified to incorporate passport details of borrowers.

Passport details will help banks to take timely action and inform the relevant authorities to prevent fraudsters from fleeing the country, sources said.

In absence of passport details, banks were hamstrung in taking timely action to prevent defaulters especially wilful one from fleeing the country.

Several big defaulters like Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi, Vijay Mallya and Jatin Mehta have fled the country putting recovery mechanism in quandary.

Last week, the Cabinet approved the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, though it was announced in the Budget for 2017-18, has been hastened after Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi allegedly defrauded state-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) of Rs 12,700 crore and left the country and are refusing to cooperate with law enforcement agencies.


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