United Kingdom court remands fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi to custody till March 29

Centre Says Talks On With UK For Earliest Extradition Of Nirav Modi

Diamantaire Nirav Modi, who is wanted in the $2 billion PNB fraud case, was arrested in London on Wednesday. The absconding diamond trader responsible for looting leading state-run bank PNB was arrested by the Scotland Yard from London's Holborn area on Tuesday after a bank clerk spotted him and dialled the police.

He is the main accused in the 13,500 crore rupees Punjab National Bank scam case.

The 48-year-old appeared in custody at Westminster Magistrates Court and was denied bail. He was remanded in custody until his next appearance at the same court on March 29.

"Fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi has been arrested in London, he will be produced in court later today", said the Enforcement Directorate.

Following the arrest of fugitive diamaintaire Nirav Modi in London, UK, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) Wednesday got permission from Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai to sell 173 paintings and auction 11 cars belonging to Modi.

The arrest of Modi comes days after the fugitive businessman was tracked down to a 33-storey Centre Point Apartment complex in London's Theatre district. The Ministry of External Affairs, however, had said that Britain was still "considering" the extradition requests sent by New Delhi for Nirav Modi.

He left India previous year, shortly before he was accused of taking part in the country's biggest banking fraud.

The order apparently came in response to a request by the ED for his extradition to India. Among those on Modi's legal team are Anand Doobay, a partner at Boutique Law LLP, who also represented Mallya.

Following the report, the Opposition had criticised the government for not being able to bring Modi back to the country, where he faces several cases. Mallya is now appealing the decision.

Police in India later raided the homes and offices of Modi and his business partner, Mehul Choksi, seizing almost $800m in jewels and gold.

While the ED was accused of inaction, the agency clarified that no such formal or communication was received by the ED from United Kingdom authorities in March, 2018 or at a later date, informing that Nirav Modi was in the UK.

Extraditing Modi, and other tycoons including Vijay Mallya, a colourful beer baron who now lives in London after an airline he owned defaulted on US$1.3 billion in loans, is becoming an election issue for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who's no relation to Nirav.

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