Fugitive billionaire diamantaire Nirav Modi, accused in the ₹13,000-crore PNB fraud case, is living openly in a swanky 8-million pound apartment in London's West End and is now involved in a new diamond business, a British daily reported on Saturday.
The report stated that when asked about whether he had sought asylum in the UK, Nirav Modi ducked the question saying, "Sorry, no comments".
As dust settled on the debris, a photo frame of Nirav Modi and his wife Ami could be spotted on top of the rubble, a little distance from a jacuzzi, a chandelier, and a Reclining Buddha kept aside for handing over to the ED. However, there's no confirmation if he lives in a rented apartment or a purchased property.
The government today said it was aware that the fugitive billionaire was in the UK.
A source told the Telegraph that he had been given a National Insurance number, meaning he can legally work here, and has used British bank accounts. Choksi was granted citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda on January 15, 2018, while Modi is in London. Nirav is apparently in contact with a wealth management firm in west London, which is famous for offering advice to rich foreigners.
In August 2018, the Indian government had forwarded the requests from the CBI and Enforcement Directorate to the United Kingdom authorities seeking the extradition of Nirav Modi. "We made a request, based on information provided by the CBI and ED, in August a year ago". Nirav Modi and his uncle and partner Mehul Choksi are being investigated by the ED and the CBI after it was detected that they allegedly cheated the Punjab National Bank of over Rs 13,700 crore with the purported involvement of a few of its employees. Nirav Modi said, "I've done nothing wrong.PNB scam was a civil transaction, blown out of proportion and can't come back to the country due to security reasons". One of the many reasons for this could be strict data protection laws in the UK.
Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, who are wanted in India for loan default, fled the country in the first week of January a year ago after their companies were found cheating the state-run PNB of Rs 14,000 crore.
The 48-year-old bank fraud fugitive who faces an Interpol red corner notice is now subject of an extradition request by India.
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