By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 09, Mar 2019, 11:20 am IST | UPDATED: 09, Mar 2019, 16:35 pm IST
London: Fugitive billionaire diamantaire Nirav Modi, one of the prime accused in the Punjab National Bank scam, has been tracked down to the United Kingdom.
The 48-year-old most wanted man now lives in an 8 million pound apartment in London’s West End and is now involved in a new diamond business, UK-based newspaper The Telegraph has reported.
As he is confronted by the newspaper over various allegations levelled against him, Nirav Modi says "no comments" and continues to smile.
The report says despite his bank accounts being frozen by the Indian authorities and an Interpol red notice being issued for his arrest, Modi is involved in a new diamond business based in London.
A source has told the the UK daily that Modi had been given a National Insurance number by the Department for Work and Pensions, meaning he can legally work in Britain, and has used British bank accounts.
The intel agencies had earlier provided input the Nirav Nodi had changed his appearance to disguise people.
An extradition request against Nirav Modi is pending since September last year before the UK authorities.
The investigative agencies told India Today that they are not happy with the UK authorities over the developments in connection with Nirav Modi’s extradition. After a Red Corner Notice was issued against Modi, we sent an extradition request to UK authorities with his address. The authorities were expected to provisionally arrest Modi so that judicial process can start but till date no action has been taken, said a senior officer.
The senior officials of Enforcement Directorate have sent multiple reminders to the UK authorities to arrest Nirav Modi, but no action has been taken.
Recently, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) attached properties of Nirav Modi worth 147.72 crore in connection with the 13,000 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case.
The attached properties belong to Nirav Modi's - Firestar Diamond International Private Limited, Firestar International Private Limited, Radheshir Jewelry Company Private Limited and Rhythm House Private Limited.
According to agency, during the investigation, it was revealed that substantial proceeds of crime obtained fraudulently by Nirav Modi owned group of firms - Solar Exports, Stellar Diamonds, Diamond RUS from Punjab National Bank were diverted to Nirav Modi, his relatives and entities controlled by Nirav Modi.
The ED had registered a money laundering case against Nirav Modi and others on February 15, 2018.
Allegedly, Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and others committed the offence of cheating against Punjab National Bank in connivance with certain bank officials by fraudulently getting the LOUs issued without following prescribed procedure and caused a wrongful loss to the bank.
Several properties in India and abroad worth Rs 1,725.36 crore were also attached earlier. In addition to the aforementioned attachments, gold, diamond, bullions, jewellery and other valuables worth Rs 489.75 crore belonging to Nirav Modi Group were also seized.
A prosecution complaint has been filed in this case against Nirav Modi and others for the offense of money laundering.
by : Priti Prakash
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