Indian jeweller accused of multi-billion dollar fraud flees

Lloyd Doyle
June 11, 2018

The confirmation that Nirav Modi is in the United Kingdom comes hours after global business daily Financial Times, citing Indian and British governments, reported that the billionaire jeweller is in London where he is trying to claim asylum from what he calls "political persecution".

The Home Office said it could not comment on individual cases.

The agency recently charge-sheeted both Nirav Modi and Choksi separately in the scam.

The Financial Times while quoting British and Indian officials said the PNB fraud accused is now in the UK.

Rijiju, after his meeting, said, "The government is making every effort to bring back Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya".

Indian federal police filed charges against more than 25 people in May including Modi, Choksi, former PNB chief Usha Ananthasubramanian, two of the bank's executive directors and three companies belonging to Nirav Modi.

The Financial Times newspaper on Monday cited officials in India and Britain as saying that the jeweller, whose clients included movie stars, had sought asylum in Britain for what he called "political persecution".

Nirav Modi is claiming political asylum in Britain after India's second-largest state-run bank alleged that two jewellery groups headed by the billionaire and his uncle Mehul Choksi had defrauded it of about $2.2 billion.

An LoU is a guarantee given by an issuing bank to Indian banks having branches overseas to grant short-term credit to the applicant.

The instructions for transferring the funds were allegedly issued by a bank employee, Gokulnath Shetty, using an worldwide messaging system for banking called SWIFT platform and without making their subsequent entries in the PNB's internal banking software, thus bypassing scrutiny in the bank, they said. The ministry submitted a request to Chinese authorities overseeing Hong Kong for the provisional arrest of the jeweler, who was classed as an absconder, to try to stop Modi from leaving Hong Kong before seeking to extradite him.

The fact that Modi was in Britain was confirmed by UK Minister for Counter Terrorism Baroness Williams who assured Indian government of full cooperation for the extradition of the diamond merchant.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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