We knew that’s why asked UK Govt to extradite Nirav, says MEA
In line of Congress fire after diamantaire Nirav Modi, accused in the $2 billion PNB scam, was spotted by a British daily in London, the Government on Saturday said it was taking all steps to extradite the fugitive even as the Enforcement Directorate maintained the UK’s Home Secretary has already referred India’s request for extraditing him to a court for initiating legal proceedings against the fugitive businessman.
At a media briefing, MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the fact that “we requested the UK Government for extradition of Nirav Modi, means we were aware that he is in UK otherwise we would not have made the request”.
“Just because he has been spotted doesn’t mean he can be immediately brought back to India as there is a process in place. We have made a request for extradition, it is for the UK Government now to consider our request and respond to the demand of the CBI and ED for extradition,” Kumar said.
Responding to a question on the extradition request, the MEA Spokesperson said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had forwarded the request for his extradition in early August that was given to the UK.
There was also a separate request from the CBI, which was forwarded to the UK side by end of August, the spokesperson said.
“What we have been told that both these requests are under the consideration of the British Government,” he said, emphasising that at repeated intervals request for expediting the process have been made.
According to report in a British daily on Saturday, Nirav is living in a swanky 8 million pound apartment in London’s West End and is now involved in a new diamond business.
Nirav, 48, is currently living in a three-bedroom flat occupying half of a floor of the landmark Centre Point tower block, where rent is estimated to cost 17,000 pounds a month, The Telegraph reported.
The revelation comes a day after Modi’s 30,000 sq ft seaside mansion at Kihim beach in Maharashtra was demolished by authorities using explosives.
Despite his bank accounts being frozen by the Indian authorities and an Interpol red notice being issued for his arrest, Nirav is now involved in a new diamond business based in London, the report said.
In a video posted by the newspaper, Nirav can be seen sporting a handle-bar moustache and wearing an Ostrich Hide jacket, estimated to cost 10,000 pounds.
Modi did not comment on question by The Telegraph journalists he has urged Britain to grant him asylum.
The UK daily also reported that Modi had been given a national insurance number by the Department for Work and Pensions, meaning he can legally work in Britain, and has used British bank accounts.
Meanwhile, ED sources said United Kingdom’s home secretary has recently referred India’s request for extraditing Modi to a court for initiating legal proceedings against him.
The ED said they had been officially informed about UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid’s move to forward the case to a London court about two days back.
UK Home Secretary’s reference to the court takes the process of extraditing Modi to face the law in India to the next stage, the sources said.
A joint team of the ED and the CBI would travel to the UK to apprise the lawyers about the Indian case and evidence against Modi, in a similar fashion that was done in the case of another absconding bank-fraud accused, Vijay Mallya, the sources said.
The ED and the CBI are investigating Modi, his uncle Mehul Choksi and others for alleged money laundering and corruption to defraud PNB.
Modi has been charge-sheeted by both the Indian investigating agencies and the ED has also attached his assets worth crores of rupees under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Sunday, 10 March 2019 | PNS | New Delhi
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