New Delhi: A London court has issued an arrest warrant against jewellery designer Nirav Modi in response to an Enforcement Directorate request for his extradition in a money laundering case, officials said on Monday.
Nirav Modi, who was recently spotted on the streets of London, is accused of defrauding Punjab National Bank to the tune of over Rs 13,000 crore. Officials said the investigative agency has been informed about the issuance of the warrant by the Westminster Magistrate Court against Modi and he is expected to be put under formal arrest by the local police soon.
Modi will be subsequently brought before the court to secure bail and the legal proceedings for his extradition will begin thereafter, they said.
A similar procedure was followed when absconding liquor businessman Vijay Mallya was arrested by the London police after a warrant was issued based on the ED’s request to extradite him to India in a money laundering case pegged at Rs 9,000 crore. Mallya’s case is in final stages in that country.
Nirav Modi was seen on the streets of London sporting a handlebar moustache and an Ostrich skin jacket worth almost Rs 10 lakh by British daily The Telegraph recently. Further investigations by the newspaper revealed that the fugitive businessman was living in the luxury central London apartment and has also started a new diamond business in Soho.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED), early this month, had said that United Kingdom’s home secretary Sajid Javid had referred India’s request for extraditing Modi to a court for initiating legal proceedings against the diamantaire.
India made a request to extradite the 48-year-old from Britain last August.
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 His passport was revoked the same month .
Modi, 48, is currently living in a three-bedroom flat occupying half of a floor of the landmark Centre Point tower block in London, where rent is estimated to cost 17,000 pounds a month, The Telegraph newspaper had reported.
Modi has been chargesheeted by both CBI and the ED. The ED has also attached his assets worth Rs 1,873.08 crore under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), and has also seized assets linked to him and his family worth Rs 489.75 crore.
In its Red Corner Notice issued against the fugitive businessman, 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 includes “criminal conspiracy, breach of trust, cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property, corruption, and money laundering.”
Arrest Warrant Issued Against Nirav Modi By London Court, Likely to be Taken Into Custody Soon – News18