Mumbai, June 12: A special court in Mumbai issued on Tuesday non-bailable warrants against fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi and his family members over money laundering charges in the PNB scam case.
The development comes a day after the United Kingdom Minister Baroness Williams confirmed the reports on the presence of Modi in her country, and assured India of full cooperation in his extradition process.
Following the confirmation by the UK, the CBI on Monday approached the Interpol seeking Red Corner Notices (RCN) against Nirav and his associate Mehul Choksi in connection with the Rs 12,636-crore PNB fraud case.
Meanwhile, news agency PTI today quoted officials saying that the UK may link the extradition process of Nirav and liquor baron Vijay Mallya with the signing of a much-delayed agreement that will facilitate the deportation of over 75,000 Indians who are allegedly illegally staying there.
The series of developments came during the meeting between Williams and Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju in the national capital on Monday.
“I had a very fruitful meeting with the UK Minister. I’ve put across the demand of government of India that anybody who is wanted in India by Indian agencies or court, we seek cooperation from the UK authorities (on extradition) and the minister has assured to give full cooperation whether it is Vijay Mallya or Nirav Modi,” Rijiju said after the meeting.
The minister further said that he has requested Baroness Williams that elements, who are using UK’s land to propagate anti-India activities must be curtailed.
“There are certain elements using UK’s land to propagate anti-India activities, I’ve requested Minister, that it must be curtailed. Both UK and India are free countries but Freedom of Expression can’t be used to abuse a country’s image,” Rijiju added.
Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, along with others, are being probed by central agencies after the fraud came to light this year following a complaint by the PNB that they allegedly cheated the nationalised bank to the tune of over Rs 13,000 crore, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank.
Last month, the Enforcement Directorate had filed a 12000-page chargesheet in the court against Nirav Modi and 23 others, including his father Deepak Modi, sister Purvi Mehta, brother-in-law Maiank Mehta, brother Neeshal Modi and another relative Nehal Modi.
The ED has charged the accused persons under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the over Rs 13,000 crore PNB scam case.
The CBI, in its charge sheets filed on May 14, had alleged that Nirav Modi, through his companies, siphoned off funds to the tune of Rs 6,498.20 crore using fraudulent LoUs issued from PNB’s Brady House branch in Mumbai. Choksi allegedly swindled Rs 7080.86 crore, making it possibly the biggest banking scam in the country, it alleged.
An additional loan default of over Rs 5,000 crore to Choksi’s companies is also a matter of probe under the CBI.