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British court issues arrest warrant against Nirav Modi

Vidya Ram London | Updated on March 18, 2019 Published on March 18, 2019

An arrest warrant has been issued for Nirav Modi by the Westminster Magistrates Court, sources said. The sources said the warrant had been issued last week, and that India had been made aware of this on Monday. There is currently no indication of when precisely an arrest could be made. Britain’s Metropolitan Police have repeatedly declined to comment on the case.

The warrant had been widely expected after Home Secretary Sajid Javid referred India’s extradition request for Modi — wanted in connection with the ₹13,000-crore Punjab National Bank fraud case — to Westminster Magistrates Court, for approval by a judge earlier this month. Once an arrest is made, Modi will face a judicial process similar to Vijay Mallya, who is currently appealing the extradition order against him, signed by Javid in February.

Modi was tracked down and filmed by the Daily Telegraph newspaper earlier this month near a luxury apartment complex by Oxford Street, where he has been living. He declined to answer questions about his status in the UK and reports that he had applied for asylum.

The paper also reported that he had been given a National Insurance number by Britain’s Department for Work and Pensions, which is used by the British government for putting together a person’s work, social security and tax details, and issued to people with the ability to work in the country.

Last June, Interpol issued a Red Notice against Modi and two others on the Enforcement Directorate’s request. India received confirmation from the Crown Prosecution Service that it would be possible to launch proceedings against him even without official confirmation of his exact location.

In August, Indian authorities handed over an extradition request for Modi to UK authorities even as his location remained unknown.

After decades during which India secured just one extradition, the past year has been a successful one with Javid signing two extradition orders — Mallya and Sanjeev Chawla, who is wanted in connection with a match-fixing scam.

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Published on March 18, 2019
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