A UK court has issued an arrest warrant against diamantaire Nirav Modi, who is declared absconding by the Indian investigative agencies in the $2 billion PNB fraud case. The court in London was responding to a request raised by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for his extradition from the UK in a money laundering case.
The development comes days after Telegraph UK released a video revealing Nirav Modi's whereabouts. In the video, the fugitive businessman was seen roaming on the streets of London sporting a handle-bar moustache and a jacket by Ostrich Hide, which costs around £10,000. As per the media reports, Nirav Modi arrived in London in 2018 and even managed to travel in and out of Britain at least four times despite his passport being cancelled by India.
According to Mint, the ED has been informed regarding the issuance of the warrant by the Westminster Magistrate Court against Nirav Modi. The London Metropolitan police are likely to put Nirav Modi under formal arrest soon and he will be brought before the court to secure bail and legal proceedings for his extradition.
A UK Metropolitan Police spokesperson said, "The reason we do not comment on an arrest until it takes place is that the individual must be charged before anything can be established." Earlier this month, the ED had informed that Sajid Javid, United Kingdom's Home Secretary, has referred India's extraditing request against Modi to court for starting legal proceedings.
Nirav Modi is wanted by Indian authorities in the Rs 13,500-crore PNB fraud case. In February 2018, PNB had admitted to a massive fraud, which later climbed up to around massive Rs 13,600 crore, shaking the foundations of the Indian banking sector. It revealed shocking details of how Nirav Modi and his uncle, Mehul Choksi, in connivance with some bank officials had duped the bank by issuing fraudulent Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) for the huge amount at PNB's flagship Brady House Branch in south Mumbai since 2011.