Nirav Modi's extradition request reaches London court
In a very crucial development, the UK Home Secretary moved the extradition file of diamantaire Nirav Modi to the Westminster court in London. Top sources in the government told India Today that two days ago, the UK Home Office had sent the file to Westminster court and after examining the case may issue a warrant for a provisional arrest of Nirav Modi.
India Today learned that the Indian agencies are aware of the developments. The extradition request by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) was pending before the UK Home Secretary since September 2018.
Fugitive billionaire Nirav Modi, who has been absconding since the Punjab National Bank fraud, was spotted by a London daily on Friday.
A UK-based newspaper, The Telegraph, tracked down Nirav Modi in London. Nirav Modi, against whom an extradition request has been pending since September last year before the UK authorities, was seen sporting a handlebar moustache with full face beard.
He was confronted by the newspaper on the allegations levelled against him but he refused to answer any question. Roaming freely on the streets of London, recognising Nirav Modi at first glance might be a little difficult for people. He has also grown his hair longer than what he used to keep earlier.
Recently, the intel agencies had also provided input that Nirav Nodi had changed his appearance to disguise people.
Multiple reminders to the UK authorities to initiate extradition process of Nirav Modi were sent by the Indian counterparts since the past few months.
Recently, the ED attached properties of Nirav Modi worth Rs 147.72 crore in connection with the over Rs 13,000 crore PNB fraud case.
The attached properties belong to Nirav Modi's- Firestar Diamond International Private Limited, Firestar International Private Limited, Radheshir Jewelry Company Private Limited and Rhythm House Private Limited.
According to the agency, it was revealed during investigation that substantial proceeds of crime obtained fraudulently by Nirav Modi owned group of firms - Solar Exports, Stellar Diamonds, Diamond RUS from Punjab National Bank were diverted to Nirav Modi, his relatives and entities controlled by Nirav Modi.
The ED had registered a money laundering case against Nirav Modi and others on February 15, 2018, under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on the basis of an FIR registered by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) under IPC sections 120-B r/w 420, 1860 read with Section 13(2) read with 13(1)(d) of PC Act, 1988.
Allegedly, Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and others committed the offence of cheating against Punjab National Bank in connivance with certain bank officials by fraudulently getting the LOUs issued without following prescribed procedure and caused a wrongful loss to the bank.
Several properties in India and abroad worth Rs 1,725.36 crore were also attached earlier. In addition to the aforementioned attachments, gold, diamond, bullions, jewellery and other valuables worth Rs 489.75 crore belonging to Nirav Modi Group were also seized. A prosecution complaint has been filed in this case against Nirav Modi and others for the offence of money laundering.