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Nirav Modi Stayed in Flat Above His Jewellery Store in London, Says Report

There are reports that the diamond merchant used Indian passport for travelling as recently as on June 12, when he took Eurostar train to travel from London to Brussels.

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Updated:June 24, 2018, 6:30 PM IST
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Nirav Modi Stayed in Flat Above His Jewellery Store in London, Says Report
In this February 15, 2018, file photo, a Nirav Modi showroom is pictured in New Delhi. (Photo: Reuters)
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London: Fugitive billionaire Nirav Modi, who is the main accused in the Rs 13,000-crore PNB fraud, was living in a flat just above his jewellery store in the Mayfair area of London while he was being pursued by authorities back home, according to a media report on Sunday.

The 47-year-old diamantaire was able to travel in and out of Britain at least four times since his passport was cancelled by the Indian authorities in February.

There are reports that the diamond merchant used Indian passport for travelling as recently as on June 12, when he took Eurostar train to travel from London to Brussels.

During his stay in London, he was reportedly living in the heart of the city above his jewellery boutique called "Nirav Modi" on Old Bond Street, which was reportedly closed last week, The Sunday Times reported.

"Why are they always ending up in London? It's as if the UK is a safe haven," the newspaper quoted an Indian official as saying.

On February 23, the Indian authorities revoked Modi's passport, contacting Interpol and the UK government soon after. But official records reveal Modi travelled from Heathrow Airport to Hong Kong on March 15, and from New York to Heathrow Airport on March 28.

In the UK, Nirav Modi's jewels have been made famous by British actress Kate Winslet sporting the diamonds at the Oscars in 2016. Also, his advertising campaigns have been fronted by the British model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.

The case pertains to cheating the state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB) through fraudulent issuance of Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) and Foreign Letters of Credit (FLCs) worth over USD 2 billion (about Rs 13,000 crore) by Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, both absconding since the first week of January.

The CBI recently charge-sheeted both Nirav Modi and Choksi separately in the scam. It has now approached the Interpol for a Red Corner Notice aimed at bringing Nirav Modi back for facing trial in the cases against them, the sources said.

The CBI, in its charge sheets filed on May 14, had 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. Choksi allegedly swindled Rs 7,080.86 crore, making it possibly the biggest banking scam in the country, it alleged.
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