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PNB scam: UK court issues arrest warrant against Nirav Modi; CBI, ED officials to visit London soon

File photo: Nirav Modi Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION Web Team London, UK Mar 18, 2019, 08.48 PM (IST)

Westminster Court in London has issued an arrest warrant against fugitive Nirav Modi, 48, after the request India was forwarded to the court by UK Home Office.

The warrant will be served at the residence of the diamond merchant in London as part of a procedure which kickstarts the extradition hearing at the Westminster Magistrate’s court.

Nirav Modi is likely to apply for bail immediately after he is produced in court after arrest by London Metropolitan Police. 

Sources have told WION that the joint CBI and Enforcement Directorate(ED) team are likely to visit the UK soon. Indian agencies have provided Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) evidence to nail Nirav Modi who fled to London after he allegedly defrauded the Punjab National Bank(PNB) of $2 billion last year.

On March 11th, the ED had filed a fresh chargesheet against PNB scam accused Nirav Modi under the anti-money laundering law.

The ED had said on March 9 that the United Kingdom's home secretary has recently referred India's request for extraditing the tainted businessman to a court for initiating legal proceedings against him.

The ED had filed the first chargesheet in the case in May last year.

According to British media reports, Nirav Modi is currently living at the landmark Centre Point tower block in London.

The PNB which is the country's second largest state-run bank, had, on February 14 last year, informed the exchanges about detecting the fraud at its Brady House branch in Mumbai, and named the firms led by Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi's Gitanjali Group, and some other diamond and jewellery merchants as suspects.

Central government agencies - the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate - registered cases on the complaint by the bank and launched nationwide searches on dozens of offices and residences of the alleged fraudsters. The bank named Nirav Modi's brother, his American wife Ami, and uncle Mehul Choksi besides some others in the FIR.

The Interpol had issued a red corner notice(RCN) against Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi last year.