UK court rejects Nirav Modi's bail plea, extends custody till 24 May
26 April 2019
The Westminster Court in the UK has declined to grant bail to fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, who was arrested in connection with the Rs13,500 crore Punjab National Bank fraud case, and instead extended his police custody for another4 month, ie, till 24 May.
The 48-year-old Modi was arrested after the court issued a warrant against him in response to a request by the Enforcement Directorate for his extradition to India in connection with the Rs13,500-crore Punjab National Bank fraud case.
Nirav Modi, who is in Wandsworth prison in south-west London ever since he was arrested last month, appeared before Westminster Magistrates’ Court Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot via videolink from the prison.
The brief hearing concluded with the judge further remanding Modi till 24 May. The judge has scheduled a case for a full hearing on 30 May.
Chief Magistrate Arbuthnot had twice rejected bail applications moved by Modi, one on the day when he was produced in court after arrest and another on 29 March, on the grounds that there was a “substantial risk he would fail to surrender”.
In fact, Modi’s defence team did not move a fresh bail plea in the Westminster Magistrates Court today, as the court extended his tenure in the Wandsworth jail until 24 May.
The diamantaire, who is accused of defrauding PNB via fraudulent Letters of Undertaking (LoUs), is believed to have been living in the UK on an Investor Visa, applied for in 2015. The so-called “golden visa” for UK visa had made it easier for super-rich individuals to acquire residency rights in the UK on a minimum of 2-million pound investment.
The Scotland Yard police arrested Nirav Modi on 19 March. After he was produced in the court the following day, it came to light that he had been in possession of multiple passports. These have since been revoked by the Indian authorities.
Wanted in India to face charges of major financial irregularities linked to loans from a Mumbai branch of the Punjab National Bank, among others, Modi earlier sought citizenship of Vanuatu through an investment scheme, which was declined.
Modi, who is wanted in India to face charges of major financial irregularities linked to loans from a Mumbai branch of the Punjab National Bank, among others, had earlier sought citizenship of Vanuatu through an investment scheme, which was declined.