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India waiting for United Kingdom reply after fugitive Nirav Modi's video surfaces

10 March 2019

The statements by ED and MEA come a day after a Britain-based newspaper claimed that Modi is living in an eight-million-pound apartment in the London's West End.

India is awaiting a response from the United Kingdom (UK) to extradite fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi wanted in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case.

Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, who are wanted in India for loan default, fled the country in the first week of January a year ago after their companies were found cheating the state-run PNB of Rs 14,000 crore. While slightly altering his appearance with a handlebar mustache, the man has been recorded strolling to and from his new business office in Soho, which specializes in the diamond trade.

Security guards stand inside a Nirav Modi showroom during a raid by the Enforcement Directorate, a government agency that fights financial crime, in New Delhi, India, February 15, 2018.

Modi, 48, is now living in a three-bedroom flat occupying half of a floor of the landmark Centre Point tower block, where rent is estimated to cost 17,000 pounds a month, as per the British Daily report. The reporter finally followed him for some time and then asked him if he has applied for political asylum. The newspaper reported that he was wearing a jacket that was made of ostrich hide, which would have cost at least 10,000 British pounds.

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The Indian authorities were informed of the development on Thursday, with officials here indicating that an arrest warrant against Modi may now be a matter of weeks, moving the extradition request to the next stage.

Punjab National Bank, India's second-largest state-run bank, in 2018 said that two jewellery groups headed by Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi had defrauded it of about $2.2 billion by raising credit from other Indian banks using illegal guarantees issued by rogue PNB staff. "It is not clear why the British government has given him a national insurance number and yet has apparently failed to act on the Interpol red notice", The Telegraph report said. The business is close to his home and was incorporated last May.

"All necessary steps are being taken for the extradition of Nirav Modi".

The Home Office have been contacted for comment. The CBI is awaiting a response on its extradition request which was sent to the United Kingdom through the External Affairs Ministry in August previous year after the confirmation from London that Nirav was in their country, agency spokesperson Nitin Wakankar said.

What is an Interpol red notice?

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India waiting for United Kingdom reply after fugitive Nirav Modi's video surfaces