The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has written to several European countries seeking help in tracing billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi even as it asserted that he did not have more than one Indian passport in his possession.
MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the ministry has also sent messages to all its missions abroad to get in touch with local governments to deny entry to Nirav Modi and inform India if he was residing there.
There were reports that Nirav Modi, wanted in connection with Punjab National Bank fraud case, may have visited the UK, France and Belgium in the past few weeks.
"We have sent a message to all our Missions as well as to select countries requesting the help of the local government in denying entry and to inform us if he is residing in their country," Mr Kumar said during a media briefing.
Mr Kumar also said that Nirav Modi was issued a fresh passport only after his previous passport was physically cancelled. "At no time, he had more than one valid passport in his possession. You are all aware that in February, based on the advice of our agencies, his passport was initially suspended and then revoked," Mr Kumar said.
His clarification comes following reports that Nirav Modi had multiple passports.
"The revocation notice was sent to all passport issuing authorities in India and abroad as well as to all our Missions and Posts. Intimation was also given to the agencies on this matter," said Mr Kumar.
Sources said Nirav Modi cannot be arrested abroad unless the Interpol issues a red corner notice against him.