London: Fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi, a key accused in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case, was arrested in London. Next hearing in the Westminster court will be on March 29. (BJP is Bringing Back Nirav Modi For Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Congress)
The London court also rejected Nirav Modi’s bail plea, mandating that the absconding jeweller will remain in the custody till the next hearing. While applying for the bail, Nirav Modi told the Westminster Court, “I have demonstrated keenness to fully cooperate. Pay tax and have submitted travel documents.”
As per UK Police, the fugitive diamond merchant was arrested from Holborn metro station.
“Nirav Deepak Modi, (Date of Birth 24.02.71), was arrested on behalf of the Indian Authorities on Tuesday, 19 March, in Holborn,” the Metropolitan Police said in a statement. “He will appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, 20 March,” the statement added.
The development comes two days after London’s Westminster court issued an arrest warrant against the fugitive diamantaire. He was tracked down in the UK city a few weeks ago.
Meanwhile, as per ED sources, PMLA court in Mumbai has granted permission to the agency to sell 173 paintings and auction 11 cars of the PNB scam accused. Furthermore, a non-bailable warrant has been issued by PMLA court against Ami Modi, wife of Nirav Modi.
The action against Modi was initiated after the Enforcement Directorate – India’s law enforcement agency – sent a plea to the UK Home Office, seeking a provisional arrest warrant against him which is required to initiate a formal extradition process. (Also Read: No Response From India When UK Sought Documents to Arrest Nirav Modi, Says Report)
Nirav Modi was tracked down to London’s West End where he has reportedly begun a new diamond business. As per a video and interview published by The UK Daily Telegraph, the fugitive diamantaire is currently residing in an £8 million flat near Oxford Street, London. Modi started his new diamond business, nearby his luxury apartment, in May 2018.
“Nirav Modi appears to have adopted a surprisingly nonchalant attitude to his fugitive status, walking his small dog each day between his apartment and the diamond company’s office in a townhouse in Soho, just a few hundred yards from his Centre Point home,” the report claimed.
The 48-year-old bank fraud fugitive who faces an Interpol red corner notice is currently subject of an extradition request by India. In August 2018, the Indian government had forwarded the requests from the CBI and Enforcement Directorate to the UK authorities seeking the extradition of Nirav Modi.
Modi and his uncle, Mehul Choksi, are the main accused in the PNB scam and they both left India before the details of the fraud came to light in January 2018.