Date: 02/03/2021

Sent: Tue, 2 Mar 2021 16:34



The Daily Telegraph, London, February 26, 2021 (p.12)

Indian diamond billionaire loses battle against extradition.

By Robert Mendick and Mick Brown.

A DIAMOND tycoon tracked down by The Daily Telegraph after he went on the run lost his battle against extradition to India yesterday.

A British judge ruled there was sufficient evidence to send Nirav Modi back to face trial on money-laundering and fraud charges over allegations he embezzled more than $1 billion (£700 million) from the Punjab National Bank (PNB)

Mr Modi was described as the world's "most wanted billionaire" when, in March 2019, The Telegraph found him hiding out in a luxury apartment in the West End of London.

A bank clerk, alerted by publicity generated by The Telegraph, recognized Mr Modi when he attempted to open an account and called the Metropolitan Police, who arrested the fugitive.

Mr Modi, who turns 50 tomorrow, has remained in Wandsworth prison ever since while extradition proceedings have continued.

His fall, from diamond magnate whose jewellery was worn by Hollywood and Bollywood stars to prison inmate, has been spectacular.

He owned a number of homes and expensive cars and ran a network of luxury jewellery stores, including one in Old Bond Street. When The Telegraph confronted him, Modi was wearing an ostrich-hide jacket worth £10,000. Yesterday, District Judge Samuel Goozee said PNB officials had uncovered a "Ponzi-like" scheme , presided over by Mr Modi, in which he had secured billions of rupees in loans on the back of fraudulent bank guarantees on foreign transactions, known as "letters of understanding".

Mr Modi's claim that "borrowing was known about, tolerated or sanctioned by PNB is inherently implausible", the judge said. Applications for bank loans were being made "dishonestly", he added, using "the circulation of pearls, diamonds and of gold....(that) was not genuine business".

Mr Modi is also accused of witness intimidation and the destruction of evidence.

The judge, handing down his judgment at Westminster magistrates' court, said there was sufficient evidence for a trial to take place in India. "I find the prima facie case established," he said. "They are extradition offences."

He dismissed Mr Modi's insistence he would not be treated fairly in India, and said there was insufficient evidence from doctors to believe he is at immediate risk of suicide.

The case will now be sent to Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, to make the final decision. Mr Modi has14 days to lodge an appeal, and if he continues to fight extradition the case could drag on for years. If not, he will be sent to a jail in Mumbai to await trial.


COMMENT: One Modi Is Mr Clean, another the worst crook and fraudster who targeted the Punjab National Bank, not Bank of Baroda or the State Bank of India.

The whole of our West Punjab deleted from the map of Bharat in 1947 - courtesy another Gujerati "goat", MK Gandhi, who did not stand up for Bharat Mata (United Secular) India.

Website: Nirav Modi accused of running ponzi-like scheme that caused enormous damage - Oneindia News

2 March 2021.