Fugitive Nirav in London, runs his biz as usual

Fugitive Nirav in London, runs his biz as usual
Highlights

Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, who is wanted in the multicrore Punjab National Bank PNB fraud in India, is living in a luxurious apartment in Londons West End and running a diamond business, according to a report in The Telegraph A video released by a UKbased newspaper on Saturday shows Modi, apparently sporting a jacket made from Ostrich hide which costs at least 10,000 over Rs 9 la

New Delhi: Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, who is wanted in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud in India, is living in a luxurious apartment in London’s West End and running a diamond business, according to a report in The Telegraph. A video released by a UK-based newspaper on Saturday shows Modi, apparently sporting a jacket made from ‘Ostrich hide’ which costs ‘at least £10,000’ (over Rs 9 lakh), repeatedly answering ‘no comment’ to every question posed by the reporter.

Modi is living in a ‘three-bedroom flat occupying half of a floor of the landmark Centre Point tower block, with views across London’, likely to be rented at around £17,000 (Rs 15 lakh), the report stated. Citing highly placed sources in UK government, the newspaper reported that Modi was provided with a ‘National Insurance Number’ by the Department for Work and Pension which allows him to operate online bank accounts in the country while still being on a wanted list in India.

When asked about this, Modi replies: “No comment”. Modi and his maternal uncle Mehul Choksi are being investigated by Indian investigating agencies after the PNB reported that it had been cheated of Rs 13,600 crore through fraudulent issue of letters LoUs and foreign letters of credit (FLCs). The duo left India in January 2018, a few weeks before the scam was unearthed. While Modi is in the UK, Choksi has become a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda and is learnt to be residing there.

Aware he is in London, India taking steps for his extradition: MEA Hours after the newspaper reported about the presence of Nirav Modi in London, the Ministry of External Affairs said the government is taking all steps to extradite the fugitive diamond trader. “We are aware that (Nirav Modi) is in the UK, otherwise we wouldn’t have requested for extradition,” MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said at a media briefing.

“The UK is still considering our request to extradite Nirav Modi…The government is taking all necessary steps for his extradition,” Kumar added. “Just because he has been spotted doesn’t mean he will be brought back immediately. It is for the UK to consider our request and respond,” Kumar told reporters.

“If you think we aren’t pursuing this, then you are wrong. Just like we followed Vijay Mallya’s case, we are following this with the same intensity. Whatever steps that need to be taken by the government of India will be taken,” adding the UK was considering India’s request to extradite Modi.

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