Fugitive Nirav Modi arrested in London, to be produced in court


(Online Desk)

Fugitive diamond trader Nirav Modi has been arrested in London’s Holborn metro station, Enforcement Directorate has informed on Wednesday.

Modi, who is the main accused in the Rs 13,500-crore Punjab National bank loan scam, will be produced in court soon.

A London court on Monday had issued an arrest warrant against Modi in response to a request by the Enforcement Directorate for his extradition in the money-laundering case.

On March 8, a video released by London’s UK’s The Telegraph newspaper had shown the diamantaire walking across a London street.

Wearing a changed look – with a handlebar moustache and long hair – and sporting an ostrich hide jacket estimated to be worth 10,000 pounds (Rs 9 lakhs), he had responded to all questions thrown his way with a  smile and “No comments”.

The 48 year old was reportedly staying in a three-bedroom flat occupying half of a floor of the landmark Centre Point tower block in London, where rent is estimated to cost 17000 pounds (almost Rs 15.5 lakh) a month.

One of the early responses to the news of the arrest came from National Conference Chief Omar Abdullah.

“It’s amusing to see the BJP falling over itself to credit the PM with the Nirav Modi arrest while completely ignoring the fact that it was The Telegraph of London and it’s correspondent who found Nirav Modi, not the PM and his agencies,” the former Jammu and Kashmir CM tweeted.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad was dismissive terming it as “an election stunt”.

Modi and his uncle, Mehul Choksi, are the main accused in the PNB scam and they both left India before the details of the fraud came to light in January 2018.

Modi has been charge-sheeted by both the agencies and the ED has also attached his assets worth Rs 1873.08 crore under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), and has also seized assets linked to him and his family worth Rs 489.75 crore.