On The Run, How Nirav Modi Travelled On Multiple Passports

PNB fraud: CBI has approached Interpol for red corner notices against Nirav Modi, his brother Nishal Modi, uncle Mehul Choksi and Subhash Parab

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Nirav Modi is wanted in India in the Rs 13,000 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case


New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. He initially had a passport belonging to N series, then got Z series one
  2. May have used extended passports as they have long-term visas: Sources
  3. Nirav Modi wanted for Rs 13,000-crore bank fraud in India
Celebrity designer Nirav Modi who is wanted for Rs 13,000-crore bank fraud in India was in the United Kingdom till March 31, says the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that's among the agencies probing him.

This piece of information was shared by the United Kingdom's National Central Bureau that acts as the contact point for the Interpol, in response to a "diffusion" sought by the CBI in February this year.

A diffusion, which is less formal than a red corner notice, is a request to the Interpol, seeking the arrest of an individual or information about him/her in connection with a police investigation.

After the diffusion was issued through the Interpol on February 15, the CBI says it actively pursued it with UK and other countries likely to be visited by Nirav Modi who left India in January this year, weeks before the fraud at Punjab National Bank was detected.

India had revoked Nirav Modi's passport in February, yet that has not stopped him from travelling abroad. That essentially means either the countries he visited may not have been communicated about the revocation of his passport or they chose not to entertain India's request.

Officials say he initially had a passport belonging to the N series. After that was filled up, the subsequent passports issued were of Z series since he is a frequent traveller. He could have used the four to five extended passports as they have had long-term valid visas, say sources.

UK has told India Nirav Modi last entered UK in February but it doesn't know where he currently is. Officials suspect he may be in Brussels.

Four days ago, the CBI requested the Interpol to issue red corner notices against Nirav Modi, his brother Nishal Modi, uncle Mehul Choksi and Subhash Parab, an executive in Nirav Modi's company. Nishal Modi is a Belgian citizen.

It's still not clear if Nirav Modi has permanent residency in the UK, in which case he cannot apply for political asylum there.  But British authorities say India can apply for his extradition.


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