Fugitive jeweler Nirav Modi, wanted in India over a mega bank scam that exploded more than a year ago, faces possible arrest in the UK with a warrant issued by the authorities in London.
Sources say Nirav Modi, 48, can be arrested anytime in the next few days following the Enforcement Directorate's request for his extradition in August 2018. UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid signed on the extradition request.
His arrest will enable the start of a trial against him in the Westminster court. If the court decides, London will issue an order to extradite the tycoon to India. The order can be challenged by Nirav Modi.
Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are the prime accused in the Rs 13,000-crore Punjab National Bank scam involving fake guarantees in the name of the state-run lender to secure loans overseas.
Both left India in January last year before the CBI started investigating the PNB scam.
Earlier this month, Nirav Modi was seen walking on the streets of London by a reporter of the British newspaper The Telegraph. In a two-minute clip shared by the newspaper, the billionaire, looking somewhat different with a moustache, and wearing a much-talked about expensive ostrich hide jacket, repeatedly said "no comments".
The British newspaper said Nirav Modi has started a new diamond business in Soho, a part of the posh West End area in London. The newspaper, quoting government sources, reported that Nirav Modi has been given a national insurance number - needed to legally work in the UK - and has been operating bank accounts online while being wanted by India.