In a significant step towards the extradition of Nirav Modi to India to face trial in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank scam, a London court has issued an arrest warrant against the fugitive diamantaire. The arrest warrant by the Westminster Magistrate Court was issued in response to an ED request for his extradition in a money laundering case.
Modi, who left India in January 2018 and has Interpol Red Notices against him, is expected to be arrested by the UK police soon. Modi will then be brought before the court to secure bail following which legal proceedings for his extradition will begin, PTI quoted officials as saying.
On March 11, the ED filed a fresh chargesheet against Modi before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai and received a fresh NBW. The warrant was sent to the Interpol and subsequently, a fresh request for extradition was sent to the UK government.
Earlier this month, ED said UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid had referred India’s request for extraditing Modi to a court for initiating legal proceedings against the diamantaire.
Last week, UK daily The Telegraph published a report and video showing Modi walking in the streets of London. The report said the fugitive diamond jeweller lived in an £8 million three-bedroom flat in London’s West End.
The flat occupies half of a floor of the landmark Centre Point tower block with views across London, the report said, adding that the monthly rent for a property like this was understood to be about £17,000.
According to the CBI and ED, Modi, his uncle Mehul Choksi, and companies owned by them took over Rs 13,000 crore from Punjab National Bank through fraudulent Letters of Undertaking and Letters of Credit between 2011 and 2018.
The ED has alleged that Modi diverted loan funds through a maze of shell companies and used them for personal purposes or for purposes other than those the loans were sanctioned for.