ED to seek Nirav Modi’s extradition soon

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New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) will soon be writing to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) for the extradition of diamond jeweller Nirav Modi, who is wanted by the Indian investigation agencies for a Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud, sources said.

An ED source told IANS: “We will be writing for the extradition of Nirav Modi through the MEA soon after the Interpol issues a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against him.”

The financial probe agency and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had written to the Interpol to issue an RCN against the fugitive diamond jeweller last week.

Meanwhile, a CBI official said that the investigation agencies had a meeting with the officials of the MEA and Bureau of Immigration about Nirav Modi.

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The official said earlier on Friday, during a meeting with the MEA officials, in which officials of the ED and Bureau of Immigration were also present, the CBI gave its inputs that Interpol was informed about Nirav Modi at every stage.

“The meeting was called to discuss the issue of revoked passport being used by Nirav Modi for travelling,” he said, adding that the Interpol has responded positively to CBI’s request for an RCN against Nirav Modi.

“And the global notice is likely to be issued very soon,” he added.

Earlier, the CBI officials confirmed that Nirav Modi travelled to multiple countries between February 10 and March 31 on revoked Indian passport.

According to the CBI, a June 5 letter, shared by Britain, revealed that the fugitive businessman travelled from US’ John F. Kennedy International Airport to Britain’s Heathrow Airport on February 10, from Frank Pais Airport in Cuba to Heathrow on February 15, from Heathrow to Hong Kong International Airport on March 15, from there back to Heathrow on March 28 and then to Charles de Gaulle Airport in France on March 31.

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On June 11, the CBI approached the Interpol to issue the RCN. On June 13, it again approached the Interpol to issue an RCN against Nirav Modi’s brother Nishal, who is a Belgian national, and his executive Subhash Parab.

The CBI sent the request to the Interpol after it filed the first chargesheet naming Nirav Modi, Nishal and Parab beside 18 others in a special court in Mumbai on May 14.

The CBI filed three FIRs between January and March to probe the PNB fraud. Most of the accused are common to these cases. The fraud was committed during 2011-17 by illegally issuing Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) and Foreign Letters of Credit (FLCs).

In its first chargesheet, the CBI alleged that Nirav Modi, through his companies, siphoned off funds to the tune of Rs 6,498.20 crore using fraudulent LoUs issued from PNB’s Brady House branch in Mumbai. Meanwhile, his uncle Mehul Choksi allegedly swindled Rs 7,080.86 crore.

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Nirav Modi left the country 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.

(Anand Singh can be contacted at [email protected])

–IANS

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