Nirav Modi arrested in London

Leroy Wright
March 20, 2019

Modi along with Choksi allegedly cheated Punjab National Bank through fraudulent issuance of Letters of Undertakings (LoUs) and Foreign Letters of Credit (FLCs), thus siphoning off funds worth Rs 6,498.20 from PNB's Brady House branch in Mumbai while Choksi has been accused of swindling Rs 7080.86 crore.

Both Modi and Choksi fled the country before details of the case emerged, and have denied wrongdoing, Reuters added.

The absconding diamantaire was arrested on a warrant issued by London's Westminster Magistrates' Court.

Nirav Modi's arrest comes nearly a year and a half after he had fled India.

He is due to appear at London's Westminster Magistrates' Court for a bail hearing later Wednesday.

The 48-year-old was reportedly staying 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 17000 pounds (almost Rs 15.5 lakh) a month.

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Modi, whose presence in the United Kingdom was confirmed by British authorities in mid-2018, has been spotted walking on London streets recently, responding to queries by reporters with "No comment", most likely under legal advice.

Modi has been chargesheeted 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. According to reports, Nirav Modi appeared in court and refused consent to extradition.

"The next step which the Indian government needs to take is to make formal written representation to the relevant asylum department at Home Office setting out the grounds why Nirav Modi should not be granted asylum", he added.

A Red Corner Notice was issued by the Interpol against Modi in June previous year. Both Modi and Choksi left India in January past year before the PNB scam came out in the public.

Modi is the prime accused in ₹13,000 crore PNB loan fraud case, along with his uncle Mehul Choksi. The duo has not returned to India despite repeated summons from probe agencies and courts.

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