March 27, 2021 4:22:20 am
After its success before a British court in seeking the extradition of fugitive businessman Nirav Modi in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case, the Indian government has initiated the process to extradite his brother Nehal Modi, also an accused in the case, from the US. On Friday, the CBI submitted before a special Mumbai court an affidavit of an extradition request by the Government of India to be made to the US government.
In 2019, the Interpol issued a Red Corner Notice against Nehal, a Belgian citizen, after the CBI named him as an accused in the Rs 13,600 crore fraud case. CBI officials they suspected that he was in the US, which was confirmed after a court in that county charged him with an alleged fraud case there. Following this information, an official said, the process of moving through proper channels to formally seek his extradition has been initiated.
Nehal has been named as an accused in the cases filed by both the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The agencies claim that Nehal had been instrumental in destroying electronic devices, including those of the dummy directors in the fraud case, which could have served as evidence. The CBI’s supplementary chargesheet in the case, filed in 2019, states that Nehal had offered a dummy director Rs 20 lakh to visit Europe to give a favourable statement before a lawyer and a judge to help Nirav. The CBI had also alleged his role in flying employees and dummy directors from Dubai to Cairo and in stopping them from returning to India to join the investigation. The CBI has also accused him of shifting documents to evade authorities.
Meanwhile, the ED has claimed that Nehal had “personally overseen” that accounts and records were eliminated. Last month, a UK court had ordered Nirav’s extradition, observing that prima facie there was evidence to order his extradition to face charges in India. Nirav’s sister Purvi Modi and her husband Maiank Mehta, who were also named as accused in the case by the ED, have been made prosecution witnesses against him after they sought to provide evidence against him. While the court has allowed their request to become approvers, they are yet to appear before it.
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