Nirav Modi arrested in London
Modi and Choksi, who have both denied wrongdoing, left India before the details of the Rs 13,000 crore PNB fraud became public.
Fugitive billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi had been arrested in London on behalf of the Indian authorities, British police said on Wednesday.
India had asked Britain in August to extradite Modi, one of the main suspects charged in the $2 billion loan fraud at state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB), India’s biggest banking fraud.
Police said Modi, 48, had been arrested in the Holborn area of central London on Tuesday and was due to appear at London’s Westminster Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
Punjab National Bank, India’s second-largest state-run bank, in 2018 said that two jewelry groups headed by Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi had defrauded it by raising credit from other Indian banks using illegal guarantees issued by rogue PNB staff.
Modi and Choksi, who have both denied wrongdoing, left India before the details of the fraud became public.
In December, a British court agreed that another high-profile Indian businessman, aviation tycoon Vijay Mallya, could be extradited to his homeland to face fraud charges. Mallya is currently appealing the decision.
Minutes after the arrest, Union Minister Hardeep Puri tweeted:
You can run, but cannot hide from the country's #Chowkidar. As wheels of justice grind, after Vijay Mallya, fugitive Nirav Modi has been arrested in London. Clear sign that this is not the India which will allow economic offenders to loot the country & evade the long arm of law. pic.twitter.com/iZCzzY4VeR— Chowkidar Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) March 20, 2019
National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah was quick to reply:
It’s amusing to see the BJP falling over itself to credit the PM with the Nirav Modi arrest while completely ignoring the fact that it was The Telegraph of London & it’s correspondent who found Nirav Modi, not the PM & his agencies.— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) March 20, 2019
(With agency inputs)