It appears as if the UK is becoming a shelter home to Indian fugitives. Nirav Modi fled India in January 2018, a few weeks before the scam came to light.
Saturday, March 09, 2019 —
Indian Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, who is wanted in the Rs 13,000-crore Punjab National Bank fraud in India, is living in a luxurious apartment situated in London’s West End and running a diamond business, according to a report published in The Telegraph.
A video released by a UK-based newspaper on Saturday shows Nirav Modi, apparently sporting a jacket made from “Ostrich hide” which costs “at least £10,000” (over Rs 9 lakh), repeatedly answering “no comment” to every question posed by the reporter.
Indian Fugitive Diamantaire Nirav Modi tracked in London in an £8 million apartment; Has Started New Diamond Business as reported by @Telegraph.
It appears as if the UK is becoming a shelter home to Indian fugitives. #NiravInLondon #NiravModi #Digpu https://t.co/EU3HK3znxb
— Digpu (@DigpuNews) March 9, 2019
The Fugitive Nirav Modi avoided answers by saying ‘No Comment’
Nirav Modi is living in a “three-bedroom flat occupying half of a floor of the landmark Centre Point tower block, with views across London”, likely to be rented at around £17,000 (Rs 15 lakh), the report stated.
Citing highly placed sources in UK government, The Telegraph reported that Nirav Modi was provided with a ‘National Insurance Number’ by the Department for Work and Pension which allows him to operate online bank accounts in the country while still being on a wanted list in India. When asked about this, Modi replies: “No comment”.
Nirav Modi and his maternal uncle Mehul Choksi are being investigated by Indian investigating agencies after the PNB reported that it had been cheated of Rs 13,600 crore through fraudulent issue of letters LoUs and foreign letters of credit (FLCs).
The duo left India in January 2018, a few weeks before the scam was unearthed. While Modi is in the UK, Choksi has become a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda and is learnt to be residing there.
Extradition Request By India
India made a request to extradite the 48-year-old from Britain last August but the matter remains in the hands of the home secretary. In February 2018, Nirav Modi was accused by Punjab National bank of swindling it of Rs 6,498.20 crore through his companies, using fraudulent Letters of Undertakings (LoUs). But by then he had already left the country. His passport was revoked the same month as a result.
In its Red Corner Notice issued against a fugitive, the Interpol asks its 192 member countries to arrest or detain the person if spotted in their countries after which extradition or deportation proceedings can begin. The notice lists a string of charges that include “criminal conspiracy, breach of trust, cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property, corruption, and money laundering.”