In a breakthrough for Indian investigation agencies probing the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, the UK’s home secretary has sent India’s request for the extradition of key accused Nirav Modi to a court for initiating legal proceedings against the absconding diamantaire, news agency PTI reported citing Enforcement Directorate (ED) sources. The development has come a day a British daily reported that Nirav Modi, accused of the biggest banking fraud in India’s history, is living in a swanky apartment in London’s West End and has started a new diamond business.
Citing the ED sources, PTI said that the agency had been officially informed about UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid’s move to forward the case to a London court about two days back. The latest move will take the extradition process to the next stage and India’s bid to bring back Modi a step ahead.
The sources also said that a joint team of the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) – two central agencies probing the case, would fly to the UK to apprise the lawyers about the case and provide them evidence against Modi.
The ED and the CBI are investigating Modi and his other associates for the alleged money laundering and corruption to execute the alleged scam in the Brady House branch of the PNB in Mumbai that was unearthed last year.
According to local media reports, the 48-year-old diamantaire is currently living in a three-bedroom flat occupying half of a floor of the landmark Centre Point tower block, where rent is estimated to cost 17,000 pounds a month.
The revelation comes a day after Modi’s 30,000 sq ft seaside mansion at Kihim beach in Maharashtra’s Raigad district was demolished by authorities using explosives for alleged violation of coastal regulation rules. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) also reacted on the issue of Modi’s extradition, saying the UK was still considering India’s request.
(With inputs from agencies)