Fraud-accused jeweler Nirav Modi, arrested on Tuesday, told a UK court today that he was working in London for a salary of 20,000 pounds, or Rs 18 lakh, a month. The court is hearing India's request for the extradition of Nirav Modi, who is wanted in a Rs 13,000 crore bank scam.
The billionaire was denied bail by the court, which will hear the case again on March 29. "Remanding you in custody given the high value of amount involved in the allegations and the access you may have to means of escape," said the Metropolitan court judge, adding, "I have substantial grounds to believe that you may fail to surrender."
Nirav Modi, 48, had offered to pay 500,000 pounds for his bail, insisting that he would cooperate fully with the investigation. But he will stay in Scotland Yard's custody for now.
The jeweler also showed salary slips of 20,000 pounds, and evidence that he was paying tax. He also showed a National Insurance (NI) number.
In his defence, Nirav Modi said he had arrived in the UK in January last year, before he was accused of any crime. Contesting India's extradition request, he said he was in Britain lawfully.
Nirav Modi also said his son had been in school in London for the last five years, that he was working there and attending an education course, and that he was a regular tax payer.
The diamond seller's lawyer also showed his employment pass, Hong Kong bank ID card and other bank cards. He submitted his travel documents to prove that he did not intend to run away.
He has been living in an apartment, the court was told.
The Telegraph newspaper had reported that he had started a diamond business in Soho after acquiring necessary permits.
Nirav Modi counted among his clients big names in Hollywood and in the Indian film industry until investigators uncovered a massive scam involving fake guarantees in the name of state-run Punjab National Bank, to facilitate loans overseas.