New Delhi: Westminster magistrates’ court, London, has issued an arrest warrant against fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi, who is accused of defrauding the Punjab National Bank of ₹13,000 crore. The London court’s move is considered as a significant step towards Modi’s extradition to India, which New Delhi has requested from the United Kingdom.
The court issued the warrant last week and India was informed about the development on Monday.
Modi escaped from India in January 2018 and has Interpol red notices against him. According to officials, he is expected to be arrested by the UK police soon and be brought before the court to secure bail, following which legal proceedings for his extradition will begin.
Earlier this month, the ED filed a chargesheet against Modi before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act court and received a fresh non-bailable warrant, which UK home secretary Sajid Javid, on India’s request, referred to a court for initiating legal proceedings against the diamantaire.
According to the Central Bureau of Investigation and ED, Modi along with his uncle Mehul Choksi scammed the PNB through their companies, which borrowed large sums of money using fraudulent letters of undertaking and letters of credit between 2011 and 2018.
Recently, there was an uproar in India after Modi was spotted roaming freely in London by a UK-based news outlet. There were also media reports on how Modi planned to restart his diamond business in UK/Europe.