New Delhi :
A London court has issued an arrest warrant against jewellery designer Nirav Modi, the main accused in the USD 2 billion PNB scam case, in response to an ED request for his extradition in a money laundering case, officials said on Monday. They said the investigative agency has been informed about the issuance of the warrant by the Westminster Magistrate Court against Modi and he is expected to be put under formal arrest by the local police soon.
Nirav Modi will be subsequently brought before the court to secure bail and the legal proceedings for his extradition will begin thereafter, they said. The Enforcement Directorate (ED), early this month, had said that United Kingdom's home secretary Sajid Javid had referred India's request for extraditing Modi to a court for initiating legal proceedings against the diamantaire. A British daily had recently published a report and video showing Modi walking in the streets of London and said the fugitive diamantaire was living in a swanky 8 million pounds apartment in the city's West End and that he was involved in new diamond business.
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 last year. Nirav Modi, 48, is currently living in a three-bedroom flat occupying half of a floor of the landmark Centre Point tower block in London, where rent is estimated to cost 17,000 pounds a month, The Telegraph newspaper of the UK had reported.
Modi has been chargesheeted by both the agencies and the ED has also attached his assets worth Rs 1,873.08 crore under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), and has also seized assets linked to him and his family worth Rs 489.75 crore.
Earlier, after Nirav Modi getting caught live on camera in London, Enforcement Directorate (ED) had said that the UK government has forwarded their extradition request to the court for further proceeding. "The UK Central Authority of Home Office has confirmed that the extradition request has been sent to the Westminster Magistrate Court for further proceedings," ED had tweeted.
A special court on Friday issued a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against the wife of fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, a key accused in the USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case. The warrant against Ami Modi was issued by Special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Judge M S Azmi after he took cognisance of the supplementary chargesheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against Nirav Modi (48) and other accused a few days ago.
The financial crime probe agency has alleged that Ami Modi used an international bank account to move USD 30 million, suspected to be proceeds of the scam. The funds were used to buy property located in New York's Central Park, the ED has said.
In its supplementary chargesheet, the agency has recorded additional evidences gathered in the case and attachments made. It is understood that the ED has underlined the role of Ami Modi and funds routed by her in the supplementary chargesheet.
The ED had filed the first chargesheet in this case in May last year. According to investigating agencies, Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, in connivance with certain bank officials, allegedly cheated PNB to the tune of Rs 14,000 crore through issuance of fraudulent Letters of Undertaking (LoUs).
These LoUs were allegedly issued in a fraudulent manner by a Mumbai branch of the PNB to the group of companies belonging to Nirav Modi since March 2011 till the fraud came to light in January 2018, the agencies have said.