PNB fraud: Interpol issues Red Corner Notice against Nirav Modi, says CBI

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Updated: July 26, 2018 7:05:52 PM

Interpol has issued a Red Corner Notice against absconding billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi who is facing probe in a USD 2 billion PNB scam.

Modi along with his wife, brother and uncle, all accused in the CBI FIRs in the case, had left the country in the first week of January. (Image: PTI)

The Interpol has issued a Red Corner Notice against absconding diamantaire Nirav Modi, his brother Nishal Modi and his employee Subhash Parab on the request of the CBI, probing over USD 2 billion PNB scam, officials said today. The notice was issued on June 29 but has been made public today by the International police cooperation agency, the sources said, adding that it will make unhindered movement of Modi across border difficult and might lead to his arrest.

The Interpol has issued the Red Corner Notice (RCN) on the basis of charge sheet filed by the CBI in a special court in Mumbai and the arrest warrant issued by the judge Special J C Jagdale there. In its Red Corner Notice issued against a fugitive, the Interpol asks its 192 member countries to arrest or detain the person if spotted in their countries after which extradition or deportation proceedings can begin.

Modi along with his wife Ami Modi, a US citizen, brother Nishal Modi, a Belgian citizen, and uncle Mehul Choksi, all accused in the CBI FIRs in the case, had left the country in the first week of January, weeks before country’s biggest banking scam surfaced.

Nishal and Parab have also been charge sheeted by the CBI along with Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi for alleged corruption and cheating. Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi have refused to return India to join probe citing business and health reasons among others, they said.

In the RCN, Interpol has given details of all the five passports of Modi, issued between May 2008 and May 2017, including that these passports have been cancelled by the government yet he has managed to travel on the basis of revoked and cancelled passports, they said.

The CBI which is the National Central Bureau of India, designated for coordinating with Interpol, has provided it with four addresses of Nirav Modi in tony localities of New York –Manhattan, East Chester and Central and one of Dubai in Al Bayan along with his possible travels to Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Belarus, Brussels, New York, UAE among others, the sources said.

The CBI had tried to track the movements of Nirav Modi through a diffusion notice issued through the Interpol on February 15, but it had limited success as only the United Kingdom responded to the CBI request, they said.

Nirav Modi managed to travel across several countries even after information about his passport being revoked by the Indian government was flashed in the Interpol central database on February 24, the CBI had earlier said.

“After the passport was revoked/cancelled by the External Affairs Ministry, we had updated this information in the diffusion notice. The information that Nirav Modi’s passport has been revoked was provided in the Interpol central database, available to all the member countries, on February 24,” CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal had said.

He had said that after the “diffusion” notice was issued by the Interpol on the request of the CBI, the agency followed it up with six countries where Nirav Modi was suspected to have fled. The agency requested these countries to share information about his whereabouts and movements.

The agency sent these reminders to the Interpol coordination agency of the United Kingdom on April 25, May 22, May 24 and May 28. Similar reminders were also sent to the agencies of the US, Singapore, Belgium, the UAE and France, they said.

The case pertains to cheating the state-run Punjab National Bank through fraudulent issuance of Letters of Undertaking and Foreign Letters of Credit worth over USD 2 billion (about Rs 13,000 crore) by Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, both absconding since the first week of January.

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