Indian billionaire jeweller seeks asylum in Britain

12 June, 2018, 19:11 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi is at the centre of the over $2 billion PNB fraud case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), probing a multi-billion-dollar scam allegedly involving Modi, said they had sent a request to Interpol to issue a so-called red corner notice seeking his detention.

The Financial Times newspaper yesterday cited officials in India and Britain as saying that Mr Modi had sought asylum in Britain for what he called "political persecution".

"The Mission has also submitted video and photographic evidences of the culprits to the Metropolitan Police and is following up with them", the official said.

In fact, India's only successful extradition request so far was made in 2016, when Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel, an accused in the 2002 Gujarat riots, was extradited from the UK.

The Home Office said it could not comment on individual cases.

Stars such as Kate Winslet, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Naomi Watts, have been seen wearing his products.

While Mallya is wanted in India for financial irregularities involving a total amount of Rs 9,000 crore as well as money laundering, Nirav is accused of cheating Punjab National Bank to the tune of Dollars 2 billion.

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This figure is said to be just a part of the total losses.

Modi, the third generation of his family to go into the diamond trade, is worth $1.73 billion according to Forbes, placing him 85th on India's rich list.

India's government is trying to reduce the crippling debts of the country's embattled state banks, including PNB.

India is already seeking the extradition of Vijay Mallya, a liquor and aviation tycoon, over unpaid loans to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines after the businessman and co-owner of the Formula One Force India team moved to Britain in March past year.

It recently announced a $32-billion recapitalisation plan to help them clean up their books ahead of the general election in 2019. It is alleged that Nirav Modi and others had cheated PNB in connivance with certain bank officials by getting LOUs issued fraudulently without following due procedure, making the bank incur a huge loss.

Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju is learnt to have told U.K. Minister Baroness Susan Williams on Monday that he was absolutely "aghast and shocked" at the unfortunate incident relating to the desecration of the Indian flag at Parliament Square by "miscreants in the presence of Metropolitan Police" during the PM's visit to the U.K.in April.

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