Extradition Blow for India as UK May Share Details of PNB Fraud Case With Nirav Modi
The UK also claimed Nirav Modi may not have transferred the proceeds of the over Rs 13,000 crore Punjab National Bank fraud to London.
File photo of fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi.
New Delhi: Indian investigative agencies pushing for the extradition of Nirav Modi were dealt a twin blow by the British authorities on Tuesday as they were informed that their letter of request could be shared with the fugitive diamantaire.
The letter of request contains details of the probe, all the evidence and witness testimonies with the agency.
Indian investigators are said to be miffed with the decision as these details could be used by Modi in court to delay proceedings when the extradition matter comes up, Times of India reported.
Multiple Indian agencies, who sent the requests, have asked their counterparts in UK not to share the letters with Modi, the newspaper said.
UK’s Serious Fraud Office, which probes financial frauds, has also claimed that Modi may not have transferred the proceeds of the over Rs 13,000 crore Punjab National Bank fraud to London, saying that it could have been transferred to “Dubai, Hong Kong and the UAE” but not to the UK.
“Is there any evidence to suggest that criminal proceeds have been transferred to the United Kingdom? If so, can you please provide full particulars?” the SFO asked in a written communication.
An official, who is involved in the probe, told the newspaper that the SFO’s stance shows Britain was reluctant in taking action against Nirav Modi, who is hiding in London since June.
“This could also be one of the reasons that they are not detaining him despite his presence there being confirmed almost a month back,” he said.
Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi have been accused of defrauded PNB for years by raising foreign credit using fake guarantees.
The international police agency, Interpol, had in Julky issued a request to find and arrest Modi.
The ministry of external affairs had in August first week confirmed that the home ministry had sent an extradition request to the High Commission of India (HCI), London, for onward transmission to the UK authorities.
The MEA had also revoked the passport of Modi on February 16, 2018. Both Modi and Choksi have denied wrongdoing.
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