The Enforcement Directorate (ED) moved a special court in Mumbai today, seeking extradition of designer diamond jeweller Nirav Modi in connection with a money laundering case related to the USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan fraud, officials said. It is understood that the extradition has been sought by the agency from the UK, Belgium and a few other countries. It has been sought on the basis of a recent charge sheet filed by the agency against Nirav Modi and his family under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The Mumbai court had last week issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Nirav Modi after taking congnisance of the charge sheet. According to the officials, as Nirav Modi has been continuously changing his location across the globe, the extradition request has been hence made to multiple countries as part of its mandate under criminal provisions of the anti-money laundering Act.
Modi, his uncle and jeweller Mehul Choksi and others are being probed by various agencies after the bank fraud came to light, following a complaint from Punjab National Bank (PNB) that they allegedly cheated the nationalised bank to the tune of over Rs 13,000 crore with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank.
The CBI and the ED have registered two FIRs each in connection with the case. Both Modi and Choksi are said to have left the country before the criminal cases were lodged against them.