National

Nirav Modi tracked down, in swanky London apartment: report

File photo of Nirav Modi. Photo: Special Arrangement  

Nirav Modi, wanted by Indian authorities in connection with the ₹13,000 crore Punjab National Bank fraud case, is in London, living in a luxury apartment complex by Oxford Street.

The diamond jeweller was captured on video by The Daily Telegraph newspaper, but declined to answer questions around his status in the U.K. and his application for asylum, repeatedly replying ‘no comment’, to questions put to him.

He also refused to confirm suggestions that he was involved in a diamond business in Soho (though not listed as director). The paper said Modi was living in a three-bed apartment that occupied half the floor of Centre Point, a recently converted apartment block near Tottenham Court Road.

The paper also reported that he had been given a National Insurance number by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which is used by the British government for putting together a person’s work, social security and tax details.

Rules over the issuing of NI numbers for those moving to the U.K. were tightened in 2006, with persons needing a right to work in the U.K. before they can be allocated an NI. The DWP declined to comment on the case.

The sighting is the first of Modi for many months and comes following a flurry of reports last year and unconfirmed rumours of journeys to and from the U.K. However, the Financial Times last June reported U.K. authorities’ anonymous confirmation that he had applied for political asylum here.

In June last year, Interpol issued a Red Notice against Modi and two others on the Enforcement Directorate’s request. India received confirmation from the Crown Prosecution Service that it would be possible to launch proceedings against him even without official confirmation of his exact location.

In August, Indian authorities handed over an extradition request for Modi to U.K. authorities even as his location remained unknown. Public confirmation of Modi’s location is the U.K. is likely to to pile pressure on British authorities, after the Home Secretary ordered the extradition of two high profile figures — Vijay Mallya (who is appealing) and Sanjeev Chawla, wanted in connection with a match fixing scam.

If Modi has applied for political asylum, the route to extradition would be different to these two cases. It comes a day after Modi’s seaside bungalow Roopanya in Alibag, Maharashtra, was demolished in a controlled explosion.

The Home Office declined to comment on the existence of an extradition request, saying they would not comment on individual cases until if and when an arrest was made.


Our code of editorial values

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 28, 2022 3:09:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/indian-diamond-billionaire-nirav-modi-tracked-down-to-swanky-london-apartment-report/article26479126.ece

Next Story