Nirav Modi: Billionaire jeweller arrested in London over India’s biggest banking fraud

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A London court has issued an arrest warrant against fugitive diamond trader Nirav Modi, who is now hiding in London under British government's Golden visa scheme, Metropolitan police of London informed Indian government on Monday.

Modi, 48, a diamond jeweller whose designs have been worn by Hollywood stars, went on the run after being accused of defrauding £1.5 billion from a state-run bank.

Authorities in London arrested Modi after an arrest warrant was issued by a London Court in response to a request made by the Indian Enforcement Directorate (ED).

India had approached Interpol regarding Nirav and in July of 2018, a red corner notice (RCN) was issued against him. Earlier, the United Kingdom daily The Telegraph reported that Modi lives in an £8 million three-bedroom flat in London's West End runs a new diamond business run from an office in Soho.

According to ANI report, fugitive Diamond Merchant Nirav Modi was arrested in London on Wednesday by London Police.

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"While the case is before the Court it would be inappropriate to comment further".

India, which has been seeking Modi's extradition for months, welcomed the businessman's arrest. After his custody is over, Nirav Modi will be produced before chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot, the same judge who oversaw the Vijay Mallya trial.

Nirav Modi fled after allegedly syphoning off about Rs 13,000 crore from Punjab National Bank (PNB) using Letters of Undertaking (LoU) in collusion with his uncle Mehul Choski. Repeated requests of knowing the exact dates of arrest were also denied by London police.

It was claimed that the tacit arrangements being struck between Boutique Law and Scotland Yard were thrown awry due to the widespread publicity of the case worldwide and Modi was arrested as he tried to open a bank account in London.

Indian authorities have already moved to recover some of the value of the assets Nirav Modi is alleged to have fraudulent obtained. Besides the passports, the court was told that Modi possessed multiple residency cards, some of them expired, but covering countries/regions such as the UAE, Singapore and Hong Kong.