Fugitive billionaire Nirav Modi is in the UK, officials there have confirmed to India for the first time. The CBI has moved a request to London to extradite the celebrity jeweler, who is wanted for loan fraud.
The UK authorities confirmed Nirav Modi's presence on Sunday through a mail responding to a diffusion notice by the CBI to the Interpol, a senior CBI official told NDTV.
"We have sent our extradition request to the MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) and soon, we would be handing it to UK authorities," he said.
Nirav Modi, along with his uncle Mehul Choksi, are accused in the Rs. 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud. They left India in January, weeks before the massive bank scam erupted.
Earlier this month, the government had told parliament that an extradition request for Nirav Modi had been sent to the Indian mission in UK.
The request has been sent by a Special Diplomatic Bag to the High Commission of India in London, VK Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs, had said in parliament.
Nirav Modi is the 29th fugitive India has asked the UK to extradite since 2002. The UK government has rejected India's request nine times in the last 16 years.
A case for the extradition of liquor baron Vijay Mallya is still being heard by a court in Britain.
Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi are being sought by multiple investigating agencies after it was revealed that the two extracted crores in loans from banks abroad on the basis of fake guarantees in the name of PNB, India's second largest state-owned bank.
India had cancelled the passports of both Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi in February. But that hasn't stopped Nirav Modi from travelling to various countries.
Mehul Choksi has paid for Antiguan citizenship and has refused to return to India saying he would be killed by mobs if he were brought back. Antigua has said that it granted citizenship to the diamond merchant after receiving an all-clear from the police and authorities in India.