Nirav Modi, along with his uncle and Gitanjali Gems promoter Mehul Choksi, is the prime accused in the ₹ 14,356 crore PNB fraud. Photo: Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint
New Delhi: The United Kingdom (UK) has confirmed the presence of PNB fraud accused Nirav Modi, in the country. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has now sent an extradition request for Modi to the Union home ministry, which will then be forwarded to the ministry of external affairs. CBI has also requested the UK authorities to detain Nirav Modi, with the Interpol having already issued a red corner notice against the diamantaire on 2 July.
“The UK authorities confirmed Nirav Modi’s presence and the CBI has sent the extradition papers to the home ministry. The CBI, through Interpol, has also informed the UK authorities that Nirav Modi is to be detained, since a red corner notice exists against him,” said a senior CBI official requesting anonymity.
Nirav Modi, along with his uncle and Gitanjali Gems Ltd promoter Mehul Choksi, is the prime accused in the ₹ 14,356 crore PNB fraud.
Nirav Modi is the 29th fugitive India has asked the UK to extradite since 2002. The UK government in the past 16 years has rejected India’s request for extradition in the case of nine fugitives.
The UK courts declined to issue arrest warrants in case of three more fugitives whom New Delhi wanted London to extradite. In case of 15 others, including business tycoon Vijay Mallya, India’s request to the UK for extradition is still pending.
In June, following the issuance of the red corner notice against Nirav Modi, his brother Neeshal Modi and their executive Subhash Parab, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had moved a Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) court in Mumbai, seeking Nirav Modi’s extradition from the UK, Belgium and other countries, since his location had not been confirmed.
Following that, India sought Nirav Modi’s extradition from the UK, with a formal request being routed to the UK government through the Indian High Commission in London.
V.K. Singh, minister of state for external affairs, informed the Rajya Sabha last month that the request for extradition of the jeweller from the UK had been sent to the High Commission of India in London.
“The request from the Enforcement Directorate for extradition of Nirav Modi was forwarded to the UK Central Authority on August 03, 2018. This was based on the two red corner notices which were issued by the ED. Now we wait for the response of the British government on this matter,” said Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson with the external affairs ministry.
On 6 August, India also formally handed over the extradition request for Mehul Choksi to the authorities in Antigua and Barbuda after the Antiguan government confirmed that he had in January this year taken up citizenship in the Caribbean country.
Elizabeth Roche contributed to this story.