Fourteen months after he fled India, fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi has been arrested in London in connection with a Rs 13,500 crore PNB fraud case and was sent to police custody till March 29 after being denied bail.
The 48-year-old businessman was arrested from Holborn on Tuesday afternoon on behalf of Indian authorities and was produced before a judge at the Westminster Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
He was denied bail and will stay in custody until the next hearing on March 29.
According to informed sources, the Westminster court in its lengthy hearing observed that Nirav Modi should be kept in Metropolitan Police custody due to his involvement in fraud of high-value funds and access to means of escape.
The Police made the arrest seven days after the Westminster Court issued an arrest warrant against Nirav Modi who left India days before the scam came to light in January 2018.
The court had issued an arrest warrant after UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid referred to India’s extradition request for Nirav Modi.
The Interpol had issued a Red Corner Notice against Nirav Modi in July 2018 at the request of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The businessman’s whereabouts were a mystery as he had been spotted in New York, Hong Kong and other cities. Along with his uncle Mehul Choksi of Gitanjali Group, Nirav Modi left the country before the CBI formally started investigating the PNB scam.
The ED had on May 24 and 26 last year filed chargesheets against both men. Non-bailable warrants were also issued against them.
The development came days after The Telegraph newspaper in Britain claimed that Nirav Modi was spotted in London.
He was said to be living in a three-bedroom flat, occupying half the floor of the landmark Centre Point tower block, the daily reported.
It claimed Nirav Modi was involved in a new diamond business, run from an office in Soho, just a few hundred yards from his apartment. The new business was incorporated in May 2018, it said.
An extradition request against him had been pending before the UK authorities since September last year.
The ED on February 26 attached Rs 147 crore worth of property of Nirav Modi and his associate companies in connection with the PNB case.