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UK court issues warrant to arrest Nirav Modi

Nirav Modi will be arrested by Scotland Yard in the near future on the basis of the warrant and produced in the court.

world Updated: Mar 19, 2019 16:04 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Nirav Modi,Sajid Javid,Nirav Modi Arrest warrent
Nirav Modi has reportedly started a new diamond business and has been living in the high-end central London apartment block called ‘Centre Point’.(Mint File)

A top court in the UK issued a warrant to arrest fugitive Indian diamantaire Nirav Modi, days after British home secretary Sajid Javid certified India’s request to extradite him to face charges of financial irregularities in the Rs 13,500-crore PNB fraud case.

Modi is likely to be arrested by Scotland Yard on the basis of the warrant and produced in the court, triggering the first stage of the legal process for extradition. Javid’s certification was sent to the Westminster Magistrates’ Court last week.

Issuing of the arrest warrant implies that the court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the conduct described in the request is an extradition offence, which includes the requirement for dual criminality.

Modi’s arrest can take place any moment after the warrant is issued. In the case of businessman Vijay Mallya, whose extradition case is now in the appeals court, India sent the request towards the end 2016.

It was certified by the home secretary on February 21, 2017. Mallya was arrested and bailed two months later on April 18, 2017, when his extradition hearings began.

A Scotland Yard spokesperson said on the fugitive diamantaire’s potential arrest, “We do not discuss extradition requests until and if a person has been arrested/presented before the court.”

Modi, whose presence in the UK was confirmed by British authorities in mid-2018, recently figured in a video released by The Daily Telegraph, walking on London streets and responding to queries by its reporters with “No comment.”

He was tracked down to a three-bedroom flat occupying half of a floor in an upscale tower block of luxury apartments, where rent is estimated to be around £17,000 a month, the newspaper reported.

Describing him as a “billionaire diamond tycoon who is India’s most wanted”, the report quoted unnamed government sources saying that he has been given a national insurance number, which is required to work legally in the UK.

Modi, who is wanted in India in connection with a financial scam at PNB, along with his uncle Mehul Choksi, continues to figure in Interpol’s wanted list on its website.

First Published: Mar 18, 2019 20:49 IST

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