The clock is ticking on Nirav Modi. The fugitive diamantaire, who is accused in the over Rs 13,000-crore Punjab National Bank scam, has been tracked down by UK-based The Telegraph. Reportedly, Nirav Modi is currently putting up in London’s West End in his £8 million apartment and is said to be running a diamond business. The Telegraph has released a video that shows Modi sporting a handlebar moustache and a beard. He is heard repeatedly replying to the reporters' questions with “no comment”.
It was only on Friday that Nirav Modi’s bungalow in Alibaug was demolished using a significant amount of explosives and heavy machinery. The Raigad district administration brought down the sprawling sea-facing property, which is estimated to be worth over Rs 100 crore. Reports say that Modi’s 33,000 square foot luxurious Alibaug bungalow was illegally built and violated coastal regulation zone (CRZ) norms and the state's regulations.
According to Times Of India, Raigad additional collector Bharat Shitole said, "The mansion of fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi was blasted at 11.15am on Friday. A total of 110 dynamite sticks were inserted into the holes drilled into the reinforced cement concrete pillars. A total of 30 kg of blasting material was used to blast the sprawling bungalow within a fraction of second."
Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, who owned Gitanjali Gems, fled India in January 2018. Both Modi and Choksi are being investigated by investigating agencies in India after Punjab National Bank reported that it had been cheated of Rs 13,600 crore through fraudulent issue of Letter of Undertaking (LoUs) and foreign letters of credit (FLCs). Nirav Modi’s passport was revoked in February last year as a result of the fraud.