New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday (July 2) launched a special operation against alleged bank fraudsters across the country registering 14 separate cases involving Rs 640 crore of siphoned funds and carrying out coordinated searches at 50 locations in 18 cities across the country, officials said.

The agency teams swooped down at different locations in 12 states across the country in a coordinated action against the promoters and directors of the companies made accused in the cases, they said.

The searches are being conducted in Delhi, Mumbai, Ludhiana, Thane, Valsad, Pune, Palani, Gaya, Gurugram, Chandigarh, Bhopal, Surat and Kolar among others, they said.

The amount involved in these banking scams is around Rs 640 crore, they said.

"In a countrywide action relating to bank fraud scams/cases, CBI is conducting a special drive today and has begun searches at more than 50 places in 18 different cities in around 12 states/union territories," a senior official said.

"A total of 14 cases have been registered against the accused including various companies/ firms, their promoters/directors and bank officials," the official added. The search operation is still on, they said.

Freezing of Nirav Modi’s family members bank accounts

Meanwhile, the Singapore high Court has ordered freezing of bank deposits worth Rs 44.41 crore kept in that country by PNB fraud accused Nirav Modi's sister and brother-in-law as part of a money laundering probe in India, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said on Tuesday.

The agency said the bank account is in the name of Pavillion Point Corporation based in the British Virgin Island, a company "beneficially owned" by Purvi Modi and Maiank Mehta.

The two are the sister and brother-in-law of Nirav, who is currently under arrest in this alleged bank fraud case in London.

The high court had ordered freezing the balance of $ 6.122 million (Rs 44.41 crore) on the request of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on the ground that deposits in the bank account were made from "proceeds of crime" illegally siphoned off by Nirav from the Punjab National Bank, it said.

The agency had attached this bank account in Singapore as part of a provisional order issued last year under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the same was confirmed by the Adjudicating Authority of the law in March this year, it said.

Last week, four Swiss bank accounts, holding deposits of over Rs 283 crore, of Nirav, the main accused in the $ 2 billion PNB case, and his sister were similarly "frozen" by authorities in Switzerland as part of the money laundering probe being conducted against them in India.