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Indian diamond billionaire on the run found in London's West End

Indian diamond billionaire on the run found in London's West End

A video released by a British daily shows Nirav Modi, the prime accused in the multi-crore PNB fraud, living in a luxury flat near Oxford Street and has reportedly started a new diamond business in Soho.

Fugitive billionaire Nirav Modi is lavishly living in the open in London, despite being wanted back home for an alleged £2bn ($2.6bn) scam against India's Punjab National Bank (PNB), the Telegraph has reported, after tracking down the elusive businessman.

The ED and the CBI are investigating Modi, his uncle Mehul Choksi and others for alleged money laundering and corruption to perpetrate the alleged scam in the Brady House branch of the PNB in Mumbai that was unearthed previous year.

Separately, he is being sued in the State of California for defrauding 4.2 million dollars from Los Angeles entrepreneur Paul Alfonso; in October 2018, Modi sold two custom diamond engagement rings to Alfonso that turned out to be lab diamonds.

The daily said it had tracked him down to a three-bedroom apartment, which occupies half of a floor at the landmark Centre Point tower block, in London's West End. He was wearing a jacket made of ostrich hide, costing at least £10,000 (Rs 9.1 lakh) when a reporter tried to talk to him. He refused to comment to any of posers put forth by The Telegraph correspondent.

Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi had fled India after being accused of defrauding the Punjab National Bank for Rs 13,000 crore in January previous year.




The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) also acknowledged that India is aware of Modi's presence in London and is taking all necessary steps for his extradition. This firm was incorporated in May previous year and is linked to the flat.

Britain's Department of Work and Pensions has also granted the businessman a National Insurance number, The Telegraph reported quoting unidentified government officials.

The Telegraph wrote: "Modi appears to have adopted a surprisingly nonchalant attitude to his fugitive status, walking his small dog each day between his apartment and the diamond company's office in a town house in Soho, just a few hundred yards from his Centre Point home".

"Kumar said that the ministry has been aware of his presence in the United Kingdom and the extradition request is under the consideration of the United Kingdom government". "It is not clear why the British government has given him a national insurance number and yet has apparently failed to act on the Interpol red notice".

What is an Interpol red notice?

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