Businessman Nirav Modi, whose bail plea was rejected by a court in London on Wednesday.
Businessman Nirav Modi, whose bail plea was rejected by a court in London on Wednesday.

Pursuing with UK to have Nirav Modi extradited at the earliest: MEA

ANI | Updated: Mar 20, 2019 22:09 IST

New Delhi/London [India/UK], Mar 20 (ANI): Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Wednesday said that efforts were on to ensure that Nirav Modi is extradited to India at the earliest.
“We welcome the fact that Nirav Modi has been arrested by the United Kingdom authorities pursuant to the arrest warrant issued by the Westminster Magistrate Court," said the MEA spokesperson in a statement on Wednesday night.
"The government of India continues to actively follow up this matter with the authorities concerned in the UK, with a view to have Nirav Modi extradited to India at the earliest,” added the MEA spokesperson.
A court in London on Wednesday sent Nirav to HM Prison Wandsworth after his plea for bail was rejected.
Businessman Modi, arrested by the Scotland Yard in connection with a loan default case in India on Tuesday afternoon (local time), was produced before the Court in London on Wednesday, which sent him to the jail rejecting his plea for bail. Nirav will be in the judicial custody till March 29.
The Indian Government has urged the Westminster Magistrate Court to hear the extradition plea within two weeks, arguing that the case involves very high-value money.
Nirav Modi sought bail and offered 5 lakh pounds but the Court rejected it, saying that there was substantial ground to believe that the businessman may not surrender.
Nirav Modi’s counsel told the court that he has provided documents to the police including travel documents. His lawyer also showed employment pass, Hong Kong ID card, other bank cards to bring home his point.
Nirav Modi’s son has been in school for the last five years. He is working here and is a regular taxpayer. He reiterates his willingness to fully cooperate in the proceedings. He is working on a salary of close to 20,000 pounds a month, and has an evident NI number (national insurance),” his counsel informed the Court.
The lawyer, who appeared in the Westminster Magistrates’ Court on behalf of the Government of India, told the Court: “Please be aware that this is very high-value money involving case.”
The Court was informed that when arrested, Nirav Modi’s expired passport was seized, and his current passport with the Home Office now has been revoked by the Indian authorities.
Nirav Modi’s counsel also argued that he arrived here in January 2018 before any allegations were made against him. “His son is here too. He is here lawfully. He contests the extradition case and allegations,” said Modi’s counsel.
According to the Scotland Yard, Nirav Modi was arrested “on behalf of the Indian authorities on Tuesday afternoon (local time) in Holborn. He will appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court tomorrow (Wednesday, 20 March).”
“Nirav Deepak Modi was arrested on behalf of the Indian authorities this afternoon (Tuesday, 19 March) in Holborn. He will appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates' Court tomorrow (Wednesday, 20 March),” said the Scotland Yard in a statement.
The fugitive diamond merchant Modi is wanted for his alleged involvement in Rs 13,000 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan default case.
A non-bailable warrant (NBW) has also been issued against Ami Modi, wife of Nirav, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), said ED sources.
A London court on Monday had issued an arrest warrant against diamond merchant Modi. The arrest warrant was issued by the Westminster Court, sources said.
The arrest of Modi comes days after the fugitive businessman was tracked down to a 33-storey Centre Point Apartment complex in London’s Theatre district.
The tower was an office complex and was converted into luxury residences with prices ranging from £2 million to £55 million all with superb views over the city of London.
Modi was believed to be living in a property worth £8 million apartments in the tower. The rent for a similar apartment in the tower comes to approximately £17,000 a month, had stated Daily Telegraph.
A special court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in Mumbai on Wednesday granted permission to the Income Tax Department (I-T) to auction the paintings and cars of Nirav Modi, the fugitive businessman whom the Scotland Yard arrested on Tuesday afternoon (local time) in London.
“A special PMLA court has allowed Income Tax Department’s application to auction some paintings from the collection of Nirav Modi. All those paintings have been seized by the Enforcement Directorate (ED),” said the sources.
I-T Department had filed an application to seek permission from the special court as it had already published the auction notice. Modi is also a defaulter for the Income Tax Dept. “Through the auction, I-T Department wishes to make some recovery,” they said.
Sources said the court has allowed I-T to go ahead with the auction by the end of this month, but “all the proceeds of this auction are to be deposited in the special PMLA court.”
It is said that 173 paintings and 11 cars of Modi will be auctioned.
One of the prime accused in the PNB scam in India, Modi is the subject of an extradition request by India, along with an Interpol Red Corner Notice issued against him. Nirav Modi is the prime accused in Rs 13,000 crore PNB loan fraud case, along with his uncle Mehul Choksi.
Choksi was granted citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda on January 15, 2018. Both Modi and Choksi left India in January last year before the PNB scam came out in the public. The duo has not returned to India despite repeated summons from probe agencies and courts. (ANI)