The Central Bureau of Investigation has requested Interpol to issue a red corner notice against fugitive jeweler Nirav Modi. The Indian agency’s move to seek Modi’s detention came on June 11, after UK Minister of State for Countering Extremism and Minister for Equalities, Baroness Susan Williams, confirmed to Indian Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju, in a meeting in New Delhi that the billionaire businessman is indeed in the United Kingdom, PTI reported.
“The agency has written to the Interpol to issue the notice, which would mean that the member countries of Interpol can arrest and extradite Nirav Modi and Choksi. The issuance of red notice is under process,” a CBI spokesperson was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had also approached the Interpol in March for an international arrest warrant for Modi.
According to Indian officials in London, a letter rogatory has been sent to UK authorities by the CBI and Enforcement Directorate, asking for information on the fugitive, according to reports. A formal response to the letter from the UK authorities is awaited. India has not requested for Modi’s extradition yet.
Modi has not submitted an application for political asylum in the United Kingdom yet, the report added, citing sources in Home Office.
Meanwhile, in the meeting between Williams and Rijiju, India was assured of UK’s full cooperation in extradition efforts involving scam-accused Indian businessmen such as Modi and liquor baron Vijay Mallya. Rijiju told Williams that the United Kingdom should not be viewed as a safe haven for people wanted by the law of the other country for various offences. He also allayed concerns of human rights violations in Indian prisons and said that while India respects the courts and will pursue legal procedures in Britain to bring back the wanted men, it expects full cooperation of the UK government.
“I had a very useful meeting with UK minister Baroness Williams. We discussed about India-UK joint efforts to deal with terrorism and extremism. We also agreed to cooperate in the matters of extradition and sharing of information,” Rijiju told reporters after the meeting.
Nirav Modi had fled India in January, before the news of him allegedly orchestrating the $2.2 billion Punjab National Bank fraud broke out. The scam, in which Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are accused, was allegedly conducted over several years by raising credit from overseas branches of other Indian banks using illegal Letters of Undertaking issued by employees at PNB’s Mumbai branch.
The ED and the CBI have already filed charge sheets in the PNB fraud case.