New Delhi, June 11: Punjab National Bank fraud accused diamond merchant Nirav Modi has fled to the UK, said media reports. According to UK daily Financial Times, Modi is seeking political asylum there. The newspaper quoted Indian and British officials in its report. It said Modi was trying to claim asylum from what he called “political persecution”. (Also Read: RBI Governor Breaks Silence on PNB Fraud) Also Read - PNB Fraud Case: Nirav Modi Extradition Trial Resumes in UK Court
Modi could not be contacted for his comment on the report. But the newspaper quoted the Ministry of External Affairs as saying that the government was waiting for the country’s law enforcement agencies to approach them before pushing for an extradition. India is already seeking the extradition of liquor baron Vijay Mallya over unpaid loans to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines after he moved to Britain in March last year. Also Read - Supreme Court Dismisses Vijay Mallya's Review Plea Against 2017 Contempt Verdict
In the Punjab National Bank scam, police have filed charges against 24 people in May, including Modi, Choksi, former PNB chief Usha Ananthasubramanian, Modi’s father Deepak, sister Purvi Mehta, brother-in-law Mayank Mehta, brother Neeshal Modi, a relative Nehal Modi, two of the bank’s executive directors and three of his companies. Modi and Choksi have continued to deny any wrongdoing. Also Read - PNB Money Laundering Case: Interpol Issues 'Red Corner Notice' to Arrest Nirav Modi's Wife Ami Modi
Police have charged senior bank executives with misleading the central bank in late 2016 over the lender’s handling of the financial messaging system and credit guarantees that were at the centre of the fraud. According to PTI, The Enforcement Directorate has appealed to a special court in Mumbai to take cognisance of its charge sheet and issue non-bailable warrants against Modi and his family. The ED has charged the accused person.s 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.