The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) has issued a red corner notice against absconding Indian diamond merchant Nirav Modi, who is accused in a multimillion dollar banking scam in India. The international agency has also issued the red notice against Modi’s brother Neeshal Modi and close associate Subhash Parab, PTI reported.
The red corner notice against Modi and his aides was issued on June 29 and made public on July 2, the news agency added. It would help restrict their movement in the 192 member countries under the Interpol, and empower authorities in those countries to arrest and extradite them.
“Interpol has accepted our request to issue RCN against Nirav Modi, his brother Nishal Modi and an executive of his company Subhash Parab,” IANS reported, citing a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) official. The Interpol has levelled charges of money laundering against Modi, the official added, according to the report.
The CBI requested Interpol to issue a red corner notice against Modi last month, after UK Minister of State for Countering Extremism and Minister for Equalities, Baroness Susan Williams, told Indian Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju, in a meeting in New Delhi that the billionaire businessman had sought refuge in the United Kingdom.
However, Modi’s current location is not clearly known. The CBI has also written to other countries, including the United States, United Arab Emirates, Beligum and Singapore, to seek his whereabouts, the Hindu reported.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had also approached the Interpol in March for an international arrest warrant for Modi over the Rs 13,578 crore fraud case involving the Punjab National Bank.
Modi, his wife Ami Modi, who is a U.S. citizen, his brother Nishal Modi, a Belgian citizen, and uncle Mehul Choksi — all of whom are accused in the cases filed by CBI — had left India in January, just before the news of the $2.2 billion Punjab National Bank fraud broke out. The scam, in which Modi’s uncle Mehul Choksi is also named, was allegedly conducted over several years during 2011-17 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 invoked criminal and money laundering charges against them, and filed charge sheets in the case.
Besides Modi, Nishal and Parab, 18 other people have been named in the charge sheet filed by CBI in a special court in Mumbai on May 14.
A red notice is a request by the Interpol to its member countries to locate and provisionally arrest an individual pending extradition. “Interpol cannot compel any member country to arrest an individual who is the subject of a red notice,” according to the agency’s website. “Each member country decides for itself what legal value to give a red notice within their borders.”