Request for extradition of Nirav Modi, the fugitive diamond tycoon, to India is in the Westminster Magistrate Court in UK for proceedings. A day ago, Modi was spotted wearing an ostrich-hide jacket worth £10,000 by The Telegraph journalist in London’s West End. He is believed to own a £8 million apartment in London.
The diamantaire has been on the run ever since he swindled the Punjab National Bank of Rs 13,000 crore, the biggest banking fraud in India’s history. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has been following leads to track down Modi. Moreover, a joint team, comprising of the ED and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will soon be travelling to the UK to apprise the lawyer about the case. Same was done in the Vijay Mallya case.
Raveesh Kumar, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson, confirmed that the government is aware about Modi’s whereabouts. He said “We are aware that Nirav Modi is in the UK, otherwise we wouldn’t have requested for extradition. We made a request, based on information provided by the CBI and ED, in August last year.” Kumar said the status remains the same.
Meanwhile, two high-profile cases, that of businessman Vijay Mallya and cricket bookie Sanjeev Chawla, have been moved to the higher court. In December, the Magistrate’s Court had ordered for Mallya’s extradition and in January, the extradition for Chawla had been cleared.
Officials say bundles of poorly written first information reports (FIRs) and hand written documents brought about improvements in the quality of evidence and paperwork. Poor paperwork is attributed to past failures in securing extraditions.