London: A London court has issued an arrest warrant against jewellery designer Nirav Modi, the main accused in the $2 billion PNB fraud 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 arrest warrant by the Westminster Magistrate Court against Nirav Modi and he is expected to be put under formal arrest by the local police soon. Nirav Modi 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) had on 9 March said that United Kingdom’s home secretary Sajid Javid had referred India’s request for Nirav Modi’s extradition to a court for initiating legal proceedings against the diamantaire.
A British daily had recently published a report and video showing Modi walking in the streets of London and said the fugitive diamantaire was living in a £8 million apartment in the city’s West End and that he was involved in a new diamond business.
The ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are investigating Modi, his uncle Mehul Choksi and others for alleged money laundering and corruption to perpetrate the alleged fraud in Punjab National Bank’s Brady House branch in Mumbai.
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 a month, The Telegraph newspaper of the UK had reported.
Nirav Modi has been chargesheeted by both the agencies and the ED has also attached his assets worth ₹1,873.08 crore under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), and has also seized assets linked to him and his family worth ₹489.75 crore.