London: Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, who was remanded in custody till 29 March by a UK court on Wednesday, is likely to be held in a separate cell in Her Majesty's Prison Wandsworth, which is one of the largest prisons in western Europe.
Modi, who was living in a plush apartment in Centre Point in the West End until his arrest on Tuesday, was sent to prison on the eve of Holi.
In the prison in south London, 48-year-old Modi's inmates will include the likes of alleged Dawood henchman Pakistani-origin Jabir Moti, currently undergoing extradition proceedings to the US.
HMP Wandsworth is classed as a Category B prison, where criminals are held if not deemed to be of a high level of security risk.
According to a March 2018 inspection report by the UK's Chief Inspector of Prisons, it holds 1,428 men and remains "one of the most overcrowded prisons in England and Wales.
"There were too many prisoners, many with drug-related or mental health issues, and with not enough to do, noted the inspection report. Cells designed for one prisoner were occupied by two, with poorly screened lavatories and the prisoners confined in them for far too long each day in common with many other prisons of this type, prisoners at Wandsworth had far too little time out of their cells," the report added.
Wandsworth prison can currently hold 1,628 prisoners and was originally built in 1851.
Since 1989, there has been extensive refurbishment and modernisation of the wings, including in-cell sanitation, privacy screens for cells occupied by more than one prisoner and the more recent installation of in-cell electricity, the UK Justice Department notes in reference to the prison.
Modi is likely to be held in a separate cell until his next hearing on 29 March which is expected to be presided over by Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot the same judge who ordered the extradition of former Kingfisher Airlines boss Vijay Mallya to India last December. That case is now in the High Court as part of Mallya's application seeking leave to appeal against Arbuthnot's ruling.
He was arrested from a Metro Bank branch in London by uniformed officers Tuesday, when he went there to open a new bank account.
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.
He is one of India's richest men, worth an estimated $1.75 billion, according to Forbes. He launched his own eponymous brand in 2010 and he soon had stores across India, as well as in New York, London and Hong Kong.
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Updated Date: Mar 21, 2019 10:08:00 IST