India’s Request to Extradite Nirav Modi Sent to UK in ‘Special Diplomatic Bag’
Addressing the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh said the MEA revoked Nirav Modi’s passport on February 16, 2018.
File photo of diamantaire Nirav Modi.
New Delhi: India has asked Britain to extradite billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, one of the main accused in the $2 billion loan fraud at state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB).
Modi's whereabouts have been unknown since PNB in January said that two jewellery groups headed by Modi and his uncle, Mehul Choksi, defrauded the bank for years by raising foreign credit using fake guarantees.
The international police agency Interpol last month issued a request to find and arrest Modi. But on Thursday, India's foreign affairs ministry told Parliament it had sent an extradition request for Modi to Britain. It did not specify how it knew Modi was there.
"An extradition request has been received in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for the extradition of Nirav Modi from the UK," Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh told the Rajya Sabha.
"The request has been sent by a Special Diplomatic Bag to the High Commission of India (HCI), London for onward transmission to the UK authorities," he said.
Singh said that the MEA revoked the passport of Modi as per the provisions of Section 10(3)(c) of the Passports Act, 1967, on February 16, 2018.
"This information was conveyed to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for onward transmission to the Interpol," he said.
He also said that the Ministry has no means to verify the travels, if any, of Nirav Modi, and the passport used for such travels by him.
Modi and Choksi have denied wrongdoing. Lawyers for both could not be immediately reached for comment on Friday.
The PNB fraud, dubbed as biggest in India's banking history, exposed shortcomings in the management of PNB and undermined confidence in India's state-run banking sector, which controls over two-thirds of the nation's bank assets.
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