UK approves extradition of fugitive Nirav Modi to India
United Kingdom's Home Secretary Priti Patel on Friday has cleared the extradition of fugitive billionaire Nirav Modi to India
New Delhi: United Kingdom's Home Secretary Priti Patel on Friday has cleared the extradition of fugitive billionaire Nirav Modi to India according to CBI officials. Modi is accused of his alleged involvement in the Rs 14,000-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud.
"The UK Home Secretary has approved the extradition request of Nirav Modi," a CBI source related to the probe told IANS. On February 25, a UK court permitted extradition of Nirav Modi in the PNB scam case.
The District Judge at the Westminster Magistrates' Court, Samuel Goozee, recognised the prima facie evidence against the diamond merchant for money laundering, saying: "Many of these are a matter for trial in India. I am satisfied again that there is evidence that he could be convicted," according to reports.
The CBI in a statement had said that the UK court ruling is ‘a reminder that fugitives, who have eluded the process of law after commission of large value frauds, cannot consider themselves above the process merely because they have changed jurisdictions’. Modi was arrested on an extradition warrant two years back on charges of money laundering, conspiring to destroy evidence and threatening witnesses. He is facing probe by the CBI for a large-scale fraud upon PNB through fraudulently obtaining LoUs or loan agreements. He is also being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a case relating to the laundering of the proceeds of that fraud.
Meanwhile, Modi also faces two additional charges by CBI of causing disappearance of evidence and intimidating witnesses or criminal intimidation to cause death. Once he is brought back, he will be lodged in one of the three cells of barrack number 12 at Mumbai's Arthur Road jail where he will undergo trial. The 50-year old is currently housed at London's Wandsworth Prison since March 2019.
The ED has attached several assets of Modi running into crores of rupees in connection with the case. Also, Modi's uncle, Mehul Choksi of Geetanjali group, who is believed to be in Antigua, is also being investigated in connection with the case.