In wake of the infamous Rs 13,000 crore PNB scam, the Central bureau of Investigation on Monday asked Interpol to issue red corner notices against businessmen Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi. 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.
Nirav Modi may have taken the Vijay Mallya of going to UK to evade the law enforcement officials.
Nirav Modi, the billionaire jeweller at the heart of a more than $2 billion fraud case in India, has fled to the UK, where he is claiming political asylum, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing Indian and British officials. Britain’s Home Office said it does not provide information on individual cases. Nirav Modi could not be contacted by Reuters for comment on the FT report.
According to FT report, Nirav Modi is claiming ‘political persecution’ in India and hence has urged for asylum in UK. The report claims that MEA is yet to push for extradition in the case as it is waiting for request from relevant authorities. Already another billionaire business Vijay Mallya is in UK and his extradition trial is currently underway.
“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 report.
On February 15, 2018, the ED had registered a money laundering case against Nirav Modi and others under the provisions of the PMLA on the basis of an FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation. It is alleged that Nirav Modi and others had cheated PNB in connivance with certain bank officials by getting LOUs issued fraudulently without following due procedure, making the bank incur a huge loss.
In the same month, the ED had provisionally attached 21 immovable properties belonging to Nirav Modi and companies under him. The said properties included six residential flats and 10 office premises in Mumbai, two residential flats in Pune, one farm house in Alibaug, one solar power plant, and a 135 -acre land in Karjat, Maharashtra. The present market value of these properties is Rs 523.72 crore.
(With inputs from PTI)