Dressed in super-expensive ostrich leather jacket, absconding diamond merchant Nirav Modi was spotted in London recently. His calm demeanour may have ruffled some feathers back home in India. But a latest report says that India had chance to arrest the PNB accused, but allegedly inaction on part of officials in Delhi meant that Modi was roaming free in the UK. According to an NDTV report, the UK officials had offered to arrest and extradite Modi to India. But no communication on part of Indian officials resulted in UK agencies putting the case on backburner.
The report says that the Serious Fraud Office in London had contacted Indian officials first time in February, 2018. This was the time when Delhi was frantically trying to locate the diamantaire. In March, 2018, the UK had confirmed that Modi was in London. By August, 2018, two more alerts were sent to Indian officials. UK had appointed Barry Stancombeon this case. His team sough additional information to arrest Modi. Allegedly, there was no response from Indian side. The report says that by December, 2018, the UK officials stopped pursuing New Delhi for more papers on Modi.
Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate on Monday filed a fresh chargesheet against PNB scam accused Nirav Modi under the anti-money laundering law, officials said. They said the chargesheet or the prosecution complaint has been filed before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai.
This is a supplementary chargesheet against the diamantaire and few others and the agency has recorded additional evidences gathered in the case and attachments made, they said. Further details about the contents of the chargesheet are awaited.
The development comes two days after a British daily reported that Nirav Modi, accused in the $2-billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, is living in a swanky 8-million pound apartment in London's West End and is now involved in new diamond business.
The ED had said on March 9 that the United Kingdom's home secretary has recently referred India's request for extraditing the tainted businessman to a court for initiating legal proceedings against him. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had filed the first charge sheet in this case in May last year.
(With agency inputs)