Days after a British daily reported that fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, accused in the $2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case, was living openly in a swanky 8-million pound apartment in London and is now involved in a new diamond business, Indian agencies will be investigating whether any of his associates helped him establish his business in the UK.
An official told The Economic Times, that Nirav Modi is in touch with a UK-based wealth management company, which might have helped him set up his business in London. The investigative agencies suspect that Modi's Indian associates also might have helped him.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the government was taking all steps for the extradition of Modi from the UK and asserted that the extradition request made to that country showed that India was aware he is there.
The assertions, claims and counterclaims began after British daily, The Telegraph, reported that Modi, wanted in India in the Rs 13,500 crore PNB fraud case, was living in an eight-million-pound apartment in London's West End and running a new diamond business just yards away.
Forty-eight-year-old Modi was spotted in a tony neighbourhood of London by British newspaper The Telegraph. He refused to comment to any of posers put forth by The Telegraph correspondent.
Asked about the report, the MEA said the UK was considering India's request to extradite Nirav Modi.
MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, at a media briefing, said the fact that "we requested the UK government for extradition of Nirav Modi, means that we were aware that he is in UK, otherwise we would not have made the request".
The Enforcement Directorate said the United Kingdom's home secretary has recently referred India's request for extraditing Nirav Modi to a court for initiating legal proceedings against the diamantaire.
Also, officials involved with the proceedings in the UK confirmed in London that UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid has certified India's extradition request for Nirav Modi.
On Saturday, the CBI said it will extend all necessary help to the United Kingdom authorities for the extradition of Modi.
The CBI is awaiting a response on its extradition request which was sent to the United Kingdom through the External Affairs Ministry in August last year after the confirmation from London that Modi was in their country, agency spokesperson Nitin Wakankar said.
--With PTI inputs
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Updated Date: Mar 11, 2019 13:34:41 IST