Published: Sun, March 10, 2019
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

PNB scam: Nirav Modi living in luxury flat in London, running business

PNB scam: Nirav Modi living in luxury flat in London, running business

The UK Home Secretary's office moved the extradition file of fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi to the Westminster Court in London two days back on March 7, finding his case "fit for extradition". Nirav, who once posed with Hollywood stars and celebrities, has grown a beard and a handlebar moustache.

Modi fled India a year ago, days before it emerged that the companies linked to the jeweller and his relatives received credit worth close to Rs 14,000-crore between 2011 and 2017 using false guarantees supplied by two officials of the Punjab National Bank. He was wearing a jacket made of ostrich hide, costing at least £10,000 (Rs 9.1 lakh) when a reporter tried to talk to him.

According to the British newspaper, Nirav is living in a three-bedroom flat in Centre Point, a high-rise building next to the Tottenham Court Road underground station. Also, an Interpol "red corner" arrest warrant was issued against Nirav Modi on the ED's request, who along with his family as well as uncle Choksi left the country in January, a month before the fraud came to light. Later, India asked Britain to extradite him after reports said he had entered that country.

Just a day earlier on Friday, Modi's 33,000 square ft illegal bungalow in Alibaug, Maharashtra was demolished with explosives by authorities.

Nirav, a prime accused in the multi-million PNB scam, was traced yesterday living in an 8-million pound apartment in London's posh West End locality.

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According to the Foreign Office, the Pakistani envoy took Prime Minister Khan's advice on bilateral ties with India before his departure to New Delhi .

"The UK is yet to respond and is considering our request for extradition of Nirav Modi", Kumar said. This firm was incorporated in May a year ago and is linked to the flat. The Telegraph has also learnt from a well-placed government source that, Modi was given a national insurance number in recent months by the department for work & pensions and has been able to operate online bank accounts in the United Kingdom while wanted by Indian authorities.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said if the Congress "gets hold" of diamantaire Nirav Modi, it will give all the money belonging to businessman to the public. Nirav is apparently in contact with a wealth management firm in west London, which is famous for offering advice to rich foreigners.

Britain's Department of Work and Pensions has also granted the businessman a National Insurance number, The Telegraph reported quoting unidentified government officials.

Nirav Modi reportedly takes a daily walk from his home to the office with his dog, he is not easily recognisable due to his changed looks.

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