U.K. Approves Nirav Modi’s Extradition To India
Billionaire diamond merchant Nirav Modi. (Source: Nirav Modi/Instagram)

U.K. Approves Nirav Modi’s Extradition To India

The U.K. government has approved the extradition of Nirav Modi, wanted in India for one of the biggest bank frauds, an official with the Central Bureau of Investigation said on condition of anonymity.

The U.K. Westminster Magistrate’s court in London had accepted the Indian government's request for Modi’s extradition in February. Judge Samuel Goozee held the court was prima facie satisfied on the evidence presented to seek Modi’s extradition. The case was then forwarded to the U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel for approval.

Modi now has up to 14 days within which he can approach the High Court and appeal after the home secretary’s decision. Any appeal, if granted, according to a Press Trust of India report, will be heard at the Administrative Division of the High Court in London.

The one-time celebrity diamantaire is wanted in the $2-billion scam at Punjab National Bank. He allegedly connived with the lender’s officials to get guarantees—or letters of undertaking—to help fund buyer’s credit from other overseas banks. The funds, ostensibly raised for the purchase and sale of diamonds, weren’t used for that purpose, PNB alleged.

According to the CBI, Modi escaped from India in January 2018 before a case was registered against him in connection with the PNB scam. The CBI sent its first extradition request to the U.K. government in August 2018. Subsequently, a second extradition request was moved. The U.K. court heard the case in May and September 2020.

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