London [UK]: Wanted diamond trader Nirav Modi, one of the prime accused in the PNB scam in India, has been tracked down to an 8-million pound apartment in London’s posh locality West End by The Daily Telegraph.
An interview and a video with the wanted diamantaire published early Saturday in the British newspaper, revealed that Modi has also started a new diamond business in Soho.
The newspaper headlined its piece ‘Exclusive: India’s most wanted man Nirav Modi – accused of £1.5 billion fraud -living openly in London’.
The video shows Nirav Modi sporting a handle-bar moustache and wearing an expensive jacket, repeatedly saying “no comments” to a series of questions put to him by the newspaper’s reporter, including whether he has sought asylum in the United Kingdom.
Exclusive: Telegraph journalists tracked down Nirav Modi, the billionaire diamond tycoon who is a suspect for the biggest banking fraud in India's historyhttps://t.co/PpsjGeFEsy pic.twitter.com/v3dN5NotzQ
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) March 8, 2019
Modi is the subject of an extradition request by India, along with an Interpol Red Corner Notice being issued for the PNB scam accused. Modi is the prime accused in the Rs 13,000 crore PNB fraud, along with his uncle Mehul Choksi. Choksi was granted citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda on January 15, 2018, while Modi is in London.
Both Modi and Choksi left India in January last year before the PNB scam came out in the public. The duo has not returned to India despite repeated summons from probe agencies and courts.
“Modi appears to have adopted a surprisingly nonchalant attitude to his fugitive status, walking his small dog each day between his apartment and the diamond company’s office in a townhouse in Soho, just a few hundred yards from his Centre Point home,” The Daily Telegraph said.
The newspaper, quoting government sources, also reported that Modi has been given a national insurance number – needed to legally work in the UK – and has been operating bank accounts online while being wanted by India.
“He has also been in contact with a wealth management company based in west London, which specialises in advice to rich foreigners. It is not clear why the British government has given him a national insurance number and yet has apparently failed to act on the Interpol red notice,” The Daily Telegraph said.
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. “Sorry no comment,” he said, before walking across the road, dressed in an GBP 10,000 black Ostrich hide jacket.
On Friday, the PNB scam accused’s bungalow in Alibag at Raigad district in India was demolished by the authorities on orders of the Bombay High Court for violation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms.