The UK home secretary sent India’s request for Nirav Modi’s extradition to court on Saturday, thus initiating legal proceedings against the fraudulent diamantaire.
New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate said that the United Kingdom's home secretary has referred India's request for extraditing PNB scam accused Nirav Modi to a court to initiate legal proceedings against the diamantaire.
In a statement, the Enforcement Directorate said, "Request for extradition of Nirav Modi to India was sent in July 2018 to the UK. The UK Central Authority of Home Office has confirmed that the extradition request has been sent to the Westminster Magistrate Court for the district judge for further proceedings."
A British daily reported that Nirav Modi, accused in the USD 2-billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, currently resides in a swank 8-million-pound apartment in London's West End and is currently involved in another diamond business.
Sources in the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said they had been officially informed about UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid's move to forward the case to a London court two days ago.
The move takes the process of extraditing and bringing back Nirav Modi to face the law in India to the next stage, the sources said.
Soon, a joint team of the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) would travel to the UK to apprise lawyers about the Indian case and evidence against Nirav Modi. This would be in a similar fashion that was done in Vijay Mallya’s case who is another absconding bank-fraud accused.
The ED and the CBI are investigating Nirav Modi, his uncle Mehul Choksi and others for alleged money laundering and corruption and perpetration of the alleged scam in the Brady House branch of the PNB in Mumbai that was unearthed last year.
The Telegraph reported that Nirav Modi is currently living in a three-bedroom flat occupying half of a floor of the landmark Centre Point tower block in London, where rent is estimated to cost 17,000 pounds a month.
The revelation comes a day after Nirav Modi's 30,000 square feet seaside mansion at Kihim beach in Maharashtra's Raigad district was demolished by authorities using explosives for alleged violation of coastal regulation rules.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) also reacted on the issue of Nirav Modi's extradition, saying the UK was still considering India's request.
An MEA spokesperson said that India was taking all steps necessary for his extradition.
Nirav Modi has been chargesheeted by both the agencies and the ED has also attached his assets worth Rs 1,873.08 crore under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and has also seized assets worth Rs 489.75 crore linked to him and his family.
Overseas assets of Nirav Modi in Hong Kong, Switzerland, the US, Singapore and the UAE worth Rs 961.49 crore have been attached till now, the agency said.
The ED had chargesheeted Nirav Modi and others under the PMLA in May last year and subsequently, moved a court to have him declared as an absconder under the newly-enacted Fugitive Economic Offenders Act in July last year.
The agency has sent as many as 18 letters rogatory (judicial requests) to countries like Armenia, Belgium, China, France, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, the UAE, UK and the US to obtain evidence against Nirav Modi and other accused.
"Money trail of $ 927 million out of the proceeds of crime of $ 1015 million has been ascertained in this case till now," the ED said.
The ED had managed to get Interpol's global arrest notices issued against Nirav Modi, his brother Neeshal Modi, sister Purvi Modi and company executives Mihir Bhansali, Subhash Parab and Aditya Nanavati.
Last Updated 12:19 PM IST