Days after it was reported that fugitive jeweller Nirav Modi fled to the UK and sought asylum there, fearing "political persecution" back home, sources close to the diamantaire have dismissed the claim, according to a media report.
The unnamed sources, on Tuesday, said Modi, accused of colluding with others to defraud the Punjab National Bank (PNB) of nearly $2 billion, doesn’t need asylum as he is a Singapore passport holder, reported CNN-News18.
The sources, who confirmed that the absconding diamantaire is living in Mayfair, London, said Modi will fight his legal battle from the UK, according to the news channel.
#EXCLUSIVE | Reports about Nirav Modi applying for asylum in UK are incorrect. Technically Nirav doesn’t need asylum, he is a Singapore passport holder. His current location is Mayfair, London: Sources close to Nirav | @Zakka_Jacob with more details. Input: @manojkumargupta pic.twitter.com/SIk8CuURGe
— News18 (@CNNnews18) June 12, 2018
The United Kingdom, on Monday, confirmed that Modi was in their country, top officials said.
Earlier on Monday, India reportedly told the United Kingdom that the UK should not be viewed as a safe haven for wanted criminals of other countries.
That message went out after news of Modi seeking asylum in the UK surfaced in the British press.
The message was clear: India respects the courts and will pursue legal procedures in Britain to bring back those wanted, and that New Delhi expects the cooperation of the UK government in such matters.
UK Minister Baroness Williams, who met Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju in New Delhi, assured the Indian side that Britain will extend it's full cooperation to India in the latter's efforts to extradite Modi, liquor baron Vijay Mallya and others.
On Sunday, The Financial Times reported that Modi was in London trying to seek asylum from what he called "political persecution".
The ministry of external affairs told the FT that the Indian government was waiting for the country's law enforcement agencies to approach them before pushing for an extradition, which has thus far not happened.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Jun 12, 2018 15:07 PM