London court issues arrest warrant against Nirav Modi

NEW DELHI: A London court has issued an arrest warrant against fugitive Nirav Modi, the main accused in the $2 billion PNB scam case, in response to an ED request for his extradition in a money laundering case, officials said Monday.

They said the investigative agency has been informed about the issuance of the warrant by the Westminster Magistrate Court against Nirav and he is expected to be put under formal arrest by the local police soon.

Nirav will be subsequently brought before the court to secure bail and the legal proceedings for his extradition will begin thereafter, they said.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), early this month, had said that United Kingdom’s home secretary Sajid Javid had referred India’s request for extraditing Modi to a court for initiating legal proceedings against the diamantaire.

A British daily had recently published a report and video showing Nirav walking in the streets of London and said the fugitive diamantaire was living in a swanky 8 million pounds apartment in the city’s West End and that he was involved in a new diamond business.

The ED and the CBI are investigating Nirav, his uncle Mehul Choksi and others for alleged money laundering and corruption to perpetrate the alleged scam in the Brady House branch of the PNB in Mumbai that was unearthed last year.

Nirav Modi, 48, is currently living in a three-bedroom flat occupying half of a floor of the landmark Centre Point tower block in London, where rent is estimated to cost 17,000 pounds a month, The Telegraph newspaper of the UK had reported.

Nirav Modi has been charged by both the agencies and the ED has also attached his assets worth Rs 1,873.08 crore under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), and has also seized assets linked to him and his family worth Rs 489.75 crore.

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