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Published On: Mon, Jun 11th, 2018

PNB scammer Nirav Modi flees to UK to seek Political Asylum

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nirav-modi-kTwD--621x414@LiveMintNEW DELHI : Nirav Modi, the fraud Indian jeweller who was at the heart of the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam earlier this year in the 13,000 crore fraud case flees to United Kingdom (UK) seeking political asylum according to officials in both countries.

“Officials in India and the UK say he (Nirav Modi) is in London, where his company has one store and is trying to claim asylum from what he said was political persecution,” The Financial Times reported.
The Britain’s Home Office said it does not provide information on individual cases. Nirav Modi couldn’t be contacted by the local media for any comment. Till now no banks or the Indian police had been unable to find the celebrity jeweller, but officials in India and the UK say he is in London, where his company has one store.

In 2018, PNB which is India’s second-largest state-run bank said that two jewelry groups headed by Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi had defrauded it of about $2.2 billion dollars by raising credit from overseas branches of other Indian banks using illegal guarantees issued by rogue PNB staff of a Mumbai branch over several years.

Nirav Modi, the billionaire jeweller has fled to the UK, where he is claiming political asylum, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing Indian and British officials. Britain’s Home Office said it does not provide information on individual cases. Nirav Modi could not be contacted by Reuters for comment on the FT report.

PNB, India’s second-largest State-run bank, said earlier in 2018 that two jewellery groups headed by Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi had defrauded it by raising credit from overseas branches of other banks using illegal guarantees issued by rogue PNB staff at a Mumbai branch over several years.
Nirav Modi is in London trying to claim asylum from what he calls “political persecution”, the FT reported.The Ministry of External Affairs told the FT the Indian government was waiting for the country’s law enforcement agencies to approach them before pushing for an extradition, which had thus far not happened. The ministry did not respond to a Reuters request for comment outside regular working hours.
India is already seeking the extradition of Vijay Mallya, a liquor and aviation tycoon, over unpaid loans to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines after the businessman and co-owner of the Formula One Force India team moved to Britain in March last year.

Charges have already been filed against more than 25 people in May including Modi, Choksi, former PNB chief Usha Anantha subramanian, two of the bank’s executive directors and three companies belonging to Nirav Modi. Modi and Choksi have denied any wrongdoing.
Last month, senior executives at the bank were accused by the police, in a charge sheet filed in court, of misleading the central bank in late 2016 over the lender’s handling of the financial messaging system and credit guarantees that were at the centre of the fraud.(With Agency Inputs ).

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