- Fugitive jeweler Nirav Modi is wanted for loan fraud in India
- He was spotted by the media in London for the second time this month
- UK put out an arrest warrant for Nirav Modi on Monday
Fugitive jeweler Nirav Modi, wanted for loan fraud in India, was spotted by the media in London for the second time this month, a day after the UK put out an arrest warrant for him. This time too, Nirav Modi didn't progress beyond his two-word stock response: "No comments".
Nirav Modi was sighted at what appeared to be an eatery at his Centre Point home in an upscale part of London.
The 48-year-old billionaire can be arrested anytime over the next few days after the warrant was issued following the Enforcement Directorate's request for his extradition. Enforcement Directorate sources say his arrest is likely by next week.
The case will follow a similar procedure as that of liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who also fled India two years ago just as banks were trying to recover unpaid loans from him.
Vijay Mallya's extradition was approved recently and is now pending with UK's Home Office.
Nirav Modi's 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. The billionaire's moustache and expensive ostrich hide jacket caused a huge sensation back home, especially on social media.
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.