Published: Wed, March 20, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Modi arrested in London, British police say

Modi arrested in London, British police say

Modi, who is wanted for allegedly duping the Punjab National Bank of over Rs 13,000 crore, was arrested in London on Tuesday.

Modi has been living at an apartment in London's West End, British newspaper The Telegraph had reported earlier this month.

Last week, Indians were stunned to see a carefree Modi, sporting an Ostrich leather jacket, strutting around in London without worries as Indian agencies moved heaven and earth to trace his whereabouts.

The absconding diamantaire was arrested on a warrant issued by London's Westminster Magistrates' Court and will be produced before court shortly today.

The ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (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 in early 2018.

The case is expected to follow a similar pattern through the United Kingdom courts as that of liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya, who remains on bail since his arrest on an extradition warrant in April 2017 on fraud and money laundering charges. The court has also allowed the sale of 11 vehicles belonging to Modi after an application from the Enforcement Directorate.

The arrest warrant was issued by the Westminster Court, the sources added.

Ami Modi was among the family members who flew out of India past year in January, before investigators could zero in on Nirav Modi in a colossal bank scam worth Rs 13,000 crore.

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But at the beginning of the month, The Telegraph tracked the jeweller down to a three-bedroom flat occupying half of a floor of the landmark Centre Point tower block, with views across London.

Choksi was granted citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda on January 15, 2018, while Modi is in London.

"Nirav Deepak Modi, 48 (Date of Birth 24.02.71), was arrested on behalf of the Indian Authorities on Tuesday, 19 March, in Holborn", the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

Zaiwalla added: "At this stage, the (Nirav Modi) case looks straightforward, and complications can only arise if he had acquired any European or other global citizenship".

Hence, it said, the extradition request for Modi could only be sent after a chargesheet was filed against him, which was done by the agency in May a year ago.

January 31, 2018: Income Tax officials raids offices of Nirav Modi across India.

Meanwhile the External Affairs ministry had also sent an extradition request to the United Kingdom in August past year.

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