London: Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi who was arrested in London on Wednesday in a Rs 13,000 crore bank loan fraud case, spent his Holi holed up in one of England’s most overcrowded jails on Thursday.
The 48-year-old was arrested by Scotland Yard and presented before District Judge Marie Mallon at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, where his bail was also turned down. The judge maintained that the wanted diamantaire had “substantial grounds” to fail to surrender, and remanded him in custody until his next hearing, scheduled for March 29.
Nirav Modi, one of India’s richest men is staring at some harsh conditions while serving his prison time.
During the most recent inspection carried out in February-March 2018, the Victorian-era jail was found by UK Chief Inspector of Prisons Peter Clarke to be “one of the most overcrowded in England and Wales” and filled with many men with drug or mental health problems, receiving poor training and education.
Prison cells designed for one prisoner are often occupied by two, with poorly-screened lavatories and inmates being allowed far too little time out of their cells, his inspection had concluded.
The living conditions will certainly be in stark contrast to the luxury apartment at Centre Point in the West End of London where Modi has been living over the past year, as it was confirmed during court proceedings on Wednesday.
Though Nirav Modi presented payslips of Rs 18 lakh a month, stating that he is working for a firm in the UK and also his National Insurance Number as proof that he is duly paying his taxes, but, it failed to deter the judge from her stance. The judge remanded him in custody till March 29 after which he was transferred to Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) Wandsworth in south-west London.
The court was told that Modi is wanted by the Indian authorities for his role as a partner in a number of entities, namely Diamonds R Us, Stellar Diamonds and Solar Exports, involved in the laundering of money and the fraudulent issuing of Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) to Punjab National Bank (PNB).
With inputs from PTI