Unlike Vijay Mallya, probe agency hopes for quick Nirav Modi extradition


NEW DELHI, March 21: Investigation agencies are confident that there will be no delay in getting fugitive businessman Nirav Modi extradited to India because they have provided UK authorities with all the documents required and plugged every loophole that can be exploited by the defence counsel. Sources told NDTV that their ongoing efforts to extradite another fugitive business magnate – Vijay Mallya – helped familiarise them with the European country’s extradition procedure.
“It was because of the evidence shared by the CBI and ED with the UK that the court got to know the full extent of the crime, and denied bail to Nirav Modi,” a source told NDTV.
Nirav Modi, accused of defrauding the Punjab National Bank of over Rs. 13,000 crore, has been lodged at Her Majesty’s Prison Wandsworth in London. He will remain there until March 29, when his case comes up for hearing again.
However, sources said India is undecided about sending a joint team of the CBI and Enforcement Directorate for the March 29 hearing because they are yet to receive a request for assistance in the case. The probe agencies are now piecing together evidence against other accused in the case, including Nirav Modi’s brother Nishal and his sister Purvi, who are also believed to be holed up in London. They are also taking steps to extradite his uncle, Mehul Chowksi, from Antigua.
Meanwhile, a related case against Nirav Modi will come up for hearing in a Mumbai court designated to hear money laundering cases on Friday. The Enforcement Directorate is confident that the developments in the UK will help get him branded as a “fugitive economic offender”.
Nirav Modi’s arrest came days after a London court issued an arrest warrant against him in response to a request by the Enforcement Directorate for his extradition in a money laundering case. He and Mehul Choksi had both left India before the fraud came to light in January 2018.
The 48-year-old fugitive businessman’s case once again hit the limelight when a reporter of British newspaper The Telegraphchanced upon him on a London street earlier this month. He refused to answer questions posed by the journalist.
Vijay Mallya had left India for the UK in March 2016, after a number of banks got together to initiate legal proceedings against him to recover an outstanding due of over Rs. 9,000 crore. The extradition proceedings, which began in April 2017, is still underway because the fugitive businessman has challenged the UK Home Secretary’s Extradition order in a higher court. (ndtv)