Indian diamond billionaire on the run found in London's West End

Indian diamond billionaire on the run found in London's West End

Kerry Wise
March 10, 2019

Fugitive billionaire, Nirav Modi is in London.

A request for the extradition of Nirav Modi to India was sent in July 2018.

While the Indian government is trying tooth and nail to capture the fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, he appeared to be living and roaming freely in the UK's capital city London in a slightly new avatar. He has started a new diamond business in London.

The 48-year-old bank fraud fugitive who faces an Interpol red corner notice is now subject of an extradition request by India.

The government on Saturday responded on Nirav Modi's extradition and said that it has already placed request with the United Kingdom government. The newspaper also posted a video where the absconding bank-fraud accused, sporting a 10000-pounds (Rs 9 lakh approximately) Ostrich Hide jacket, is seen responding to a volley of questions with repeated "No comments". The rent for a property like this is thought to be about £17,000 a month, while the paper pegged the price of the flat at £8 million.

The United Kingdom has responded to the Red Corner Notice issued by the agency against Nirav in June a year ago, he said. The businessman fled India in January 2018, days before a scam was unearthed, in which the Punjab National Bank accused Modi and his maternal uncle Mehul Choksi of cheating the bank of Rs 13,600 crore. Later, India asked Britain to extradite him after reports said he had entered that country.

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The revelation comes a day after Modi's 30,000 sq ft seaside mansion at Kihim beach in Maharashtra's Raigad district was demolished by authorities using explosives for alleged violation of coastal regulation rules.

According to The Telegraph, Nirav is now involved in a new diamond business run from an office in Soho, a few hundred yards from his new flat in West End. The Telegraph has also learned from a source in the British government that Nirav has been assigned a National Insurance number by the Department for Work & Pensions, and he is able to operate online bank accounts in the UK. He has also been in contact with a wealth management company based in west London, which specialises in advice to rich foreigners.

The Telegraph report said it was not clear why the British government had given him a National Insurance number to Nirav.

What is an Interpol red notice?

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When confronted by the newspaper, Modi refused to comment if he has been granted political asylum in the United Kingdom or whether he is still trading in diamonds.