New Delhi: Putting rest to all the speculations over the failure of investigative agencies, the enforcement directorate (ED) has claimed that the United Kingdom government never told them about Nirav Modi’s presence in the UK.

The ED has said that in reply to a red corner notice (RCN) in June 2018, the UK government asked to provide them with intelligence suggesting that Modi is in the UK. Recently, he was spotted in London.

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"It is submitted that no such formal or informal communication was received by the Enforcement Directorate from the UK authorities in March 2018 or at a later date informing that Nirav Modi was in the UK. This fact is evident from the reply received from National Central Bureau (Manchester), UK (which is the nodal agency in the UK for matters relating to RCN) in June 2018 in response to the ED’s request for publication of RCN against Nirav Modi wherein NCB, Manchester had requested the Indian authorities to provide them with intelligence suggesting that Nirav Modi is in the UK," ED said.

According to the investigators, the consistent stand of the UK government regarding the execution of warrant is that non-bailable warrant (NBW) can only be executed through an extradition request and not through any letter rogatory (LR) sent under mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT).

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"As per laid down rules and procedures, the extradition request can only be sent after filing of prosecution complaint (charge sheet) by the enforcement agency before the competent court, cognisance thereof by the court and issuance of open ended NBW against the accused person. Therefore, extradition request cannot be sent at the stage of investigation," ED said.

“Accordingly, upon initiation of investigations by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) on February 14, 2018 against Modi and others, the first NBW issued in March 2018 was not acted upon by the UK government.

“Thereafter, upon the completion of part investigations by the directorate, a prosecution complaint was filed on May 24, 2018 before the designated PMLA court and a fresh open-ended NBW was issued in June 2018 by the court after taking cognisance of the prosecution complaint filed by the ED. 

“Simultaneously, a request was made by the ED to the National Central Bureau-India (NCB-India), which functions under the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), for publication of RCN against Modi.

"On the basis of the said request, the RCN was published in June 2018 by Interpol against Modi. Thereafter, request for extradition of Modi was sent to the UK government on July 31, 2018," the ED said.