London seems to have become the safe haven for Indian fugitives; whether it’s Vijay Mallya or Nirav Modi, all corrupt people fleeing from the law find their way there. Unfortunately for them, the Westminster Magistrate’s Court is keen on its stance to assist India by first agreeing to extradite Vijay Mallya and now, Nirav Modi. An arrest warrant has been issued for Modi which officially commences the legal procedure to extradite the fugitive.
Nirav Modi is a diamantaire, wanted by the Interpol for criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating and dishonesty including delivery of property, corruption, money laundering, fraud, embezzlement and breach of contract. On the Enforcement Directorate’s request, Interpol issued a Red Notice against Modi in June last year.
Modi’s diamond boutique in Kala Ghoda, Mumbai has become the epicenter of one of the largest banking frauds detected in the country when he orchestrated the PNB Fraud Case. The case relates to deceiving the bank through fraudulent letters of undertaking and letters of credit worth 14,356.84 crore issued by the PNB. Modi has siphoned off Rs 13,500 crore from the PNB in connivance with his uncle Mehul Choksi and bank officials at PNB’s Brady House branch in Mumbai. On discovery, the bank had suspended 10 officers and had referred the matter to CBI for investigation, along with a warning for the other banks of the Modus Operandi used by the bank officials.
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the government had seized assets worth Rs 1,300 crore belonging to Nirav Modi besides revoking his passport in February 2018. Nevertheless, he was able to travel in and out of Britain at least four times since his passport was cancelled by the Indian authorities.
Modi has been tracked down in UK and was filmed by reporters of the Daily Telegraph newspaper earlier this month, near a luxury apartment complex by Oxford Street where he is living and running the diamond business. To avoid punitive action, Modi has switched his base thrice in UK within a short span of time. The fugitive has also applied for asylum in the country and has been given a National Insurance number by Britain’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), issued to people with the ability to work in the country.
In connection with the PNB fraud case, Home Secretary Sajid Javid had referred India’s extradition request for Modi. In furtherance to the request, an arrest warrant has been issued for Modi, by the Westminster Magistrates Court. An ED official stated, “We have been informed by the authorities there about the issuance of a warrant against Nirav Modi. It officially marks the beginning of extradition proceedings against him”. According to ED sources, Nirav Modi will be arrested and released on bail on the condition that he cannot leave the country after which extradition proceedings would begin. However, there is no indication of when precisely an arrest could be made.
Nirva Modi has been involved in a number of international cases of fraud and is currently being sued in the US for $4.2 million. Since the time he has been spotted, living a life of grandeur in an £8 million flat, the government has doubled its efforts to bring him to justice. The luxurious life is no doubt being maintained off the tax payer’s money, being embezzled from a developing country. With the arrest warrant issued, the extradition is inevitable and the Supreme Court can exercise its rightful Jurisdiction. Nirav Modi is soon going to get exactly what he deserves.