India can start extradition process for Nirav Modi: UK Crown Prosecution Service

File photo. Photograph:( Facebook )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jun 14, 2018, 08.05 PM (IST)

A senior Indian official told newswire PTI that India has been informed by the UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) that it can initiate extradition proceedings against fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi who allegedly defrauded Punjab National Bank(PNB) of $2 billion.

India's investigative agency the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) had requested the Interpol on Thursday to issue a Red Corner Notice against Nirav Modi's brother Nishal and his company executive Suresh Shankar.

The CBI has now begun the process of filing an extradition request for Modi, which will have to be approved by the UK Home Office following which an extradition warrant can be issued.

The UK government was earlier informed by the Indian authorities that Nirav Modi's passport was revoked, the UK authorities, in turn, informed that the diamond billionaire had already entered the country but hadn't exited.

"If he has ILR in the UK, he would have to be extradited. However, if that is not the case, he can be deported on the basis of illegally travelling to Britain using fraudulent travel documentation. We are pursuing both these lines," a senior Indian official told PTI.

Reports had earlier said that Nirav Modi was in the process of applying for political asylum in the UK which could delay the extradition process. Earlier reports said that Nirav Modi had fled to Brussels from London but it could not be confirmed.

The Enforcement Directorate had issued a non-bailable warrant against Nirav Modi and his associates last month.