Nirav Modi flees to London, seeks political asylum

Marco Green
June 12, 2018

Nirav Modi is in London trying to claim asylum from what he calls "political persecution", the FT reported.

Nirav Modi's Showroom being raided by The Enforcement Directorate on February 15, 2018 in Mumbai, India.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday approached the Interpol seeking a red corner notice against billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, who is at the centre of the over $2 billion PNB fraud case.

The CBI has asked the Interpol to issue a Red Corner Notice against absconding billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi in the over United States dollars 2 billion banking scam involving Punjab National Bank, officials said today.

Britain's Home Office said it does not provide information on individual cases, while Modi could not be contacted by Reuters for comment. Modi and his associates, it is alleged, defrauded the Punjab National Bank of around Rs 13,000 crore has part of their scam. Authorities say he diverted large sums of the loan money illegally to invest in foreign-based companies.

An LoU is a guarantee given by an issuing bank to Indian banks having branches overseas to grant short-term credit to the applicant. However, he was seen in a photograph with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at World Economic Forum which was organised in Davos.

The Enforcement Directorate, India's financial fraud-investigating agency, had unsuccessfully approached Interpol in March for an global arrest warrant.

India is already seeking the extradition of Vijay Mallya, a liquor and aviation tycoon, over unpaid loans to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines after the businessman and co-owner of the Force India Formula One team moved to Britain in March previous year.

Last month PNB posted the largest ever quarterly loss for an Indian lender - 134.17 billion rupees - largely because it had to set aside funds to pay other banks over the scam.

The confirmation of Modi being in the United Kingdom came during a meeting Minister of State for Home Affairs Kirren Rijiju with British Minister of State for Countering Extremism Baroness Williams in New Delhi.

The fact that Modi was in Britain was confirmed by UK Minister for Counter Terrorism Baroness Williams who assured Indian government of full cooperation for the extradition of the diamond merchant.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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