Nirav Modi seeking political asylum in UK: report
11 June 2018
Fugitive jeweller Nirav Modi, who is facing trial in India over a Rs14,000-crore fraud committed on state-run Punjab National Bank, allegedly in connivance with some bank officials, is reported to be seeking political asylum in Britain.
The billionaire jeweller who fled to the UK after the scam came to light, is claiming political asylum in that country, according to the Financial Times, which cited some Indian and British officials as saying.
“Officials in India and the UK say he (Nirav Modi) is in London, where his company has one store, and is trying to claim asylum from what he said was political persecution," the report said.
Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate for allegedly cheating the PNB, the country's second largest lender, to the tune of more than Rs13,000 crore.
The duo along with some others are being probed by the CBI following a complaint by the PNB that they allegedly cheated the nationalised bank to the tune of over Rs 13,000 crore, with the connivance of some PNB staff at a Mumbai branch over several years.
Nirav Modi is in London trying to claim asylum from what he calls “political persecution”, the FT reported, even as officials of India’s ministry of external affairs said the government was pushing for an extradition.
India is already seeking the extradition of Vijay Mallya, a liquor and aviation tycoon, over unpaid loans to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines after the businessman and co-owner of the Formula One Force India team moved to Britain in March last year.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed charges against more than 25 people in May, including Modi, Choksi, former PNB chief Usha Ananthasubramanian, two of the bank’s executive directors and three companies belonging to Nirav Modi.
Modi and Choksi have denied any wrongdoing.