Billionaire jeweler Nirav Modi has been arrested in London, the British Police confirmed on 20th March, 2019. The fugitive jeweler is wanted by Indian authorities over a loan fraud of Rs 13,000 crore at state owned corporation Punjab National Bank. He was later remanded in custody after appearing before a British court on 20th March, 2019. After his arrest in central London’s Holborn area, he has denied bail by the court. Which implies that he will be in custody until the next hearing which is on 29th March, 2019.
The arrest of Nirav Modi was executed days after a London court issued an arrest warrant against him. It was in response to a request by the Enforcement Directorate for his extradition in a money laundering case. Nirav Modi was seen walking in London where the billionaire was seen wearing a much-talked about expensive ostrich hide jacket, repeatedly saying “no comments”.
How was the arrest accomplished.
Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are the two main culprits in this bank scam. Which involved usage of fake guarantees in the name of the state-run lender PNB to secure loans overseas. Both left India in January last year before the CBI started investigating the PNB scam. India has been convincing Britain since August 2018 to extradite Nirav Modi who denies the charges.
The fugitive went into a bank to open an account and that is when a staff member contacted the police. He had to appear in London’s Westminister Magistrates court because of the two charges accused on him by India.
Charges accused on Nirav Modi:
The charges were conspiracy to fraud and conspiracy to conceal criminal property. When Nirav Modi was spotted in the streets of London, he denied being extradited and spoke only to confirm his age, name and address. His lawyer George Scott said his client will refuse charges which he thinks to be politically motivated. Nirav Modi offered an estimated Britain Pound 5,00,000 security but was still refused bail.
Marie Mallon, the district judge said that the odds are in the favor of Nirav Modi escaping the arrest. Later she added that there is no way or no conditions that would make her grant Nirav Modi’s release.
The arrest also spiked a political move. The Congress party used this arrest case to take a dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said that all the fugitives will have to eventually return the money they looted from our nation.
Nirav Modi continues to remain in Interpol’s wanted list. The charges imposed by India include criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker merchant or agent, money laundering and dishonestly inducing delivery of property.
The court has permitted the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to auction Nirav Modi’s 11 vehicles which includes Mercedes, Rolls Royce, Porsche etc. They have also allowed the income tax authorities to auction his 68 paintings. The ED on 20th March, 2019 said that a court has issued a non-bailable warrant against Nirav Modi’s wife.