CBI to ask Interpol, Britain for Nirav Modi's immediate arrest

Nirav Modi interviewed on London road

Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, who is wanted by Indian agencies in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank fraud case, has been spotted in London, a media report said.

"(Since) We requested the United Kingdom government for extradition of Nirav Modi, means that we were aware that he is in United Kingdom otherwise we would not have made the request", said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar at a media briefing on Saturday.

Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar stated this during his press briefing, soon after British publication The Telegraph released a video of Modi walking around in London. The 48-year-old billionaire is living in an £8 million apartment situated in London's West End.

"The video of fugitive #NiravModi in London shows an uncanny similarity between him & his bhai, PM Modi".

The ED and the CBI are investigating Modi, 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 a year ago.

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Punjab National Bank, India's second-largest state-run bank, in 2018 said that two jewellery groups headed by Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi had defrauded it of about $2.2 billion by raising credit from other Indian banks using illegal guarantees issued by rogue PNB staff.

Interpol red notice's is a request sent to police across the globe to find and arrest someone "pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action". He alleged that Modi had snatched people's money from ordinary people and gifted them to Nirav Modi.

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

The fugitive diamond merchant, who has been on the run since February 2018, has been found to be doing diamond business in one of the best and high-end markets of London despite India's efforts to bring him back. He was apparently sporting a jacket made from "Ostrich hide" which costs "at least £10,000" (over Rs 9 lakh).

"The business, which was incorporated last May, is linked to his flat in Centre Point although he is not listed as a director at Companies House", the Telegraph reported, wondering how Modi's presence remained unnoticed by the British authorities. Several reporters were seen trying to speak to him, but Modi constantly refuses to take their questions with a "no comment" retort.

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