Fugitive billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi arrested in London: British police

Published March 20, 2019
Punjab National Bank said last year that two jewellery groups headed by Nirav Modi and his uncle had defrauded it. ─ File photo by The Statesman
Punjab National Bank said last year that two jewellery groups headed by Nirav Modi and his uncle had defrauded it. ─ File photo by The Statesman

Fugitive billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi has been arrested in London on behalf of the Indian authorities, British police said on Wednesday.

India had asked Britain in August to extradite Modi, one of the main suspects charged in the $2 billion loan fraud at state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB), India's biggest banking fraud.

Police said Modi, 48, had been arrested in the Holborn area of central London on Tuesday and was due to appear at London's Westminster Magistrates Court today.

Punjab National Bank, Indias second-largest state-run bank, in 2018 said that two jewellery groups headed by Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi had defrauded it by raising credit from other Indian banks using illegal guarantees issued by rogue PNB staff.

Modi and Choksi, who have both denied wrongdoing, left India before the details of the fraud became public.

In December, a British court agreed that another high-profile Indian businessman, aviation tycoon Vijay Mallya, could be extradited to his homeland to face fraud charges. Mallya is currently appealing the decision.

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