After Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, the billionaire jeweller, who is a prime accused in a more than $2 billion fraud case, has fled to the UK, where he is claiming political asylum, according to a report in Financial Times. While Britain's Home Office said it does not provide information on individual cases, Reuters tried contacting Nirav for the comment on the report, but he was unavailable.
If you will remember, earlier in 2018, Punjab National Bank, India's second-largest state-run bank, said that two jewellery companies owned by Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi had defrauded it of about $2.2 billion by raising credit from overseas branches of other Indian banks. They did this with the help of rogue PNB staff at a Mumbai branch over several years.
According to the Ministry of External Affairs, they need the law enforcement agencies to approach them before pushing for an extradition. Sadly that has not happened so far. As told earlier, the Centre is already seeking the extradition of liquor and aviation tycoon Vijay Mallya over unpaid loans to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines after he moved to Britain in March last year.
Police 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.