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The former diamantaire and jewellery mogul faces life imprisonment in India if convicted on charges stemming from the $US1.8 billion Punjab National Bank fraud.
The former diamantaire and jewellery mogul faces life imprisonment in India if convicted on charges stemming from the $US1.8 billion Punjab National Bank fraud.

Nirav Modi extradition approved by UK government

Disgraced jewellery mogul Nirav Modi has had his extradition to India approved by the UK government’s Home Office, following more than two years in prison.

Modi, 50, was arrested in London in March 2019 and faces a raft of charges in India related to the $US1.8 billion ($AU2.3 billion) Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud, which is reported to have occurred between 2011 and 2018.

"A spokesperson for the Home Office confirmed Home Secretary Priti Patel approved the extradition order on 15 April; under UK law, the decision can be appealed within 14 days"

On 25 February 2021, Westminster Magistrates Court District Judge Samuel Goozee ruled in favour of extradition, finding that a “prima facie case of fraud and money laundering is established”.

He dismissed the defence’s claim that Modi would not receive a fair trial in India and was facing worsening mental health.

A spokesperson confirmed Home Secretary Priti Patel approved the extradition order on 15 April; under UK law, the decision can be appealed within 14 days.

Zulfiquar Memon, of Indian law firm MZM Legal – which is representing Modi in the case – told news service Reuters, “The legal team is in the process of challenging the order in the UK High Court, which may happen anytime soon.”

Meanwhile, Indian media report that the extradition of Modi’s uncle Mehul Choksi, who has also been charged in relation to the PNB fraud, could be delayed by more than seven years. 

Choksi has resided in the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda since 2017 and claimed Antiguan citizenship in January 2018 through the country’s Citizenship By Investment program.

While it was previously reported that Choksi’s citizenship had been revoked, a senior official within the Antiguan government has now clarified that the case is currently before the country’s High Court.

Lionel Hurst, chief of staff to Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne, told India Today, “Antigua and Barbuda has attempted to withdraw or revoke the citizenship of Mehul Choksi. However, he has entered a lawsuit in the High Court of Antigua and Barbuda. This matter will take about seven years to be resolved. With enough money to pursue these legal challenges, 2027 is the earliest for a final resolution.”

India Today quoted Hurst as saying that even if the appeal is rejected, Choksi could then continue the case in the Court of Appeals.

 

More reading:
Court rules to extradite disgraced jewellery mogul Nirav Modi
Nirav Modi extradition trial to conclude this month
Nirav Modi extradition case edges forward
Nirav Modi's 'Ponzi scheme' extradition trial begins in London
Fugitive diamond dealer Nirav Modi arrested
Indian jeweller linked to bank fraud scheme charged
Potential ramifications for jewellery industry after mammoth bank fraud case

 











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