NiMo Found: Nirav Modi Arrested in London

Nirav Modi at his office in Mumbai India in 2016

Nirav Modi at his office in Mumbai India in 2016

A warrant for Modi's arrest was issued by a Westminister Court on March 18th.

Fugitive diamond trader Nirav Modi has been arrested in London's Holborn metro station. A preliminary hearing in Modi's extradition case was set for March 29. A London court had earlier issued an arrest warrant against him after the Enforcement Directorate had asked for him to be extradited in the money laundering case.

"However, as per protocol, Scotland Yard will not address extradition requests until and unless the accused (Modi) has been arrested/presented before the court", Zaiwalla said. He is accused of siphoning off around Rs 13,000 crore from the Punjab National Bank.

Now, Nirav Modi will be produced before a London court later in the day.

Modi's world began unraveling in February of previous year, when India's Central Bureau of Investigation registered a First Information Report (FIR) against him, alleging he defrauded state-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) of some $2 billion by using phony letters of undertaking.

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

A London court on Monday had issued an arrest warrant against diamond merchant Modi. Apart from claiming that the charges against him were politically motivated, Nirav Modi said in the bail plea that he has a 5-year-old child to look after.

The paper also reported that he had been given a National Insurance number by Britain's Department for Work and Pensions, which is used by the British government for putting together a person's work, social security and tax details, and issued to people with the ability to work in the country. The daily said Modi lives on half a floor of the Centre Point Tower Block, in an apartment whose rent is likely to be around £17,000 per month (Rs 15.5 lakh), and which costs around Rs 73 crore.

As per an India Today report, the ED last week filed a supplementary charge-sheet in the PNB scam, naming Ami as an accused in the case in a special Mumbai court. The court was responding to a request raised by the Enforcement Directorate for his extradition from the UK.

According to the newspaper, Modi had set up a new jewelry company while in London.

Modi, whose presence in the United Kingdom was confirmed by British authorities in mid-2018, has been spotted walking on London streets recently, responding to queries by reporters with "No comment", most likely under legal advice.

Zaiwalla added: "At this stage, the (Nirav Modi) case looks straightforward, and complications can only arise if he had acquired any European or other worldwide citizenship".

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