UK court issues warrant against Nirav Modi: Officials


File photo of celebrity jeweller Nirav Modi prime accused behind PNB fraud

File photo of celebrity jeweller Nirav Modi prime accused behind PNB fraud

A London court has issued an arrest warrant against jewellery designer Nirav Modi, the main accused in the USD 2 billion PNB scam case, in response to an ED request for his extradition in a money laundering case, officials said Monday.

They said the investigative agency was recently informed about the issuance of the warrant by the Westminster Magistrate Court and Modi is expected to be put under formal arrest by the local police (London Metropolitan police) soon.

The warrant was issued a few days back and the ED was subsequently informed, they said.

After the arrest, Modi will be 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 the final stages in that country.

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.

A British daily had recently published a report and video showing Modi walking in the streets of London and said the fugitive diamantaire was living in a swanky 8 million pounds apartment in the city’s West End and that he was involved in new diamond business.

The ED and the CBI are investigating Modi, his uncle Mehul Choksi and others for alleged money laundering and corruption to perpetuate the alleged scam in the Brady House branch of the PNB in Mumbai that was unearthed last year.

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, UK’s Telegraph newspaper had reported.

Modi has been charge-sheeted by both the agencies and 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.