Indian diamond billionaire Nirav Modi tracked down to swanky London apartment

Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar

The businessman fled India in January 2018, days before a scam was unearthed, in which the Punjab National Bank accused Modi and his maternal uncle Mehul Choksi of cheating the bank of Rs 13,600 crore. The CBI is awaiting a response on its extradition request which was sent to the United Kingdom through the External Affairs Ministry in August previous year after the confirmation from London that Nirav was in their country, agency spokesperson Nitin Wakankar said. "We have made a request for extradition, it is for the United Kingdom government now to consider our request and respond to the demand of the CBI and ED for extradition", said the MEA spokesperson.

A request for the extradition of Nirav Modi to India was sent in July 2018. On February 26, the Enforcement Directorate attached properties of Nirav Modi and his associate companies to the tune of Rs 147 crore in connection with its ongoing probe into the case.

He added, "At repeated intervals, a request for expediting the extradition has been done".

India's opposition has picked on the video to criticise Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, which is also under fire for its inability to bring back Vijay Mallya, another fugitive seeking asylum in the United Kingdom. "Himself, Nirav Modi or the people who let him escape?"

A source told the Telegraph that he had been given a National Insurance number, meaning he can legally work here, and has used British bank accounts.

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Modi, 48, is now living in a three-bedroom flat occupying half of a floor of the landmark Centre Point tower block, where rent is estimated to cost 17,000 pounds a month, as per the British Daily report.

The Telegraph report further stated that Nirav Modi, against whom a Red Corner Notice has been issued by the Interpol, is living in the city's West End area and has even started a new diamond business. Modi repeatedly answered "no comment" to questions put to him.

The newspaper said Nirav was wearing a £10,000 jacket, made from ostrich hide, when he was approached in the street.

Though Modi's bank accounts in India have been frozen and an Interpol red notice has been issued against him, the fugitive has become involved in a new diamond business in Soho locality, the daily said. This firm was incorporated in May a year ago and is linked to the flat. He has also been in contact with a wealth management company based in west London, which specialises in advice to rich foreigners.

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