New Delhi: The Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh on Thursday informed Rajya Sabha that a formal request for the extradition of fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi has been sought from the United Kingdom. The request, directed at the UK authorities, has been sent to the Indian High Commission in London. He added that the request has been sent by a special diplomatic bag.
“An extradition request has been received in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for the extradition of Nirav Modi from the UK,” Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday. “The request has been sent by a Special Diplomatic Bag to the High Commission of India (HCI), London for onward transmission to the UK authorities,” he said.
Modi is wanted in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case.
Singh said that the MEA revoked the passport of Modi as per the provisions of Section 10(3)(c) of the Passports Act, 1967, on February 16, 2018.
“This information was conveyed to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for onward transmission to the Interpol,” he said.
He also said that the Ministry has no means to verify the travels, if any, of Nirav Modi, and the passport used for such travels by him.
The absconding diamond merchant possesses at least half-a-dozen Indian passports. In June this year, Modi had fled to the UK claiming political asylum there.
Nirav Modi along with his uncle Mehul Choksi of the Gitanjali group are being probed in the fraud scam by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The ED had, on May 24 and May 26, filed prosecution complaints or charge-sheets against Choksi and Modi.
The court has taken cognizance of the charge-sheets and issued non-bailable warrants against both of them.
On request of the ED and the CBI, the Interpol had earlier issued Red Corner Notice against Nirav Modi on July 2.
Nirav Modi left India along with his family in the first week of January, weeks before the scam was reported to the CBI. His wife Ami, a US citizen, left on January 6 and Choksi on January 4.