PNB fraud: CBI asks Interpol to issue red corner notices against fugitive jewellers Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has requested the Interpol to issue red corner notices against jewellers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, reported ANI. The duo are the alleged masterminds behind the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud.

The "CBI has no confirmation yet about Nirav Modi's whereabouts," an official said. "When the agency gets any information about his whereabouts, it will take further action," sources told IANS.

Billionaire Modi, at the centre of a money laundering case linked to the over USD 2 billion PNB fraud, has fled to the UK where the absconding diamantaire has sought asylum claiming 'political persecution' back home, according to a media report.

Modi and his uncle Choksi are being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for allegedly cheating the PNB, the country's second largest lender, to the tune of more than USD 2 billion.

File images of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi. YouTube screengrab.

File images of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi. YouTube screengrab.

The duo and others are also being probed by other 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.

Both Modi and Choski are said to have left the country before criminal cases were lodged against them.

"Officials in India and the UK say he (Nirav Modi) is in London, where his company has one store, and is trying to claim asylum from what he said was political persecution," the Financial Times reported.

"There are always a number of complicated cases that add a little tension and spice to our relationship with India. But there is also an appreciation from both sides that we have a legal process that has to be gone through and that we are of course governed by human rights legislation," a senior UK Foreign Office official was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

The CBI had in May filed two charge sheets in the case before a Mumbai court. The ED has also filed its charge sheet in the case involving Modi, who is in his late 40s, and his associates, officials in New Delhi told the PTI.

They said the about 12,000 page charge sheet or the prosecution complaint has been filed before a special court under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

India is also pushing for the extradition of liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya, living in the UK, over charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs 9,000 crore.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Jun 11, 2018 18:58:36 IST

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