CBI-ED team to leave for UK for Nirav Modi extradition hearing

A week after Nirav Modi was arrested by the Scotland Yard, a team of sleuths from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) left for the UK on Wednesday night to assist local authorities with the extradition case of the fugitive diamantaire, one person said, requesting anonymity.

Nirav Modi’s bail plea will come up for hearing in a London court on Friday. Nirav Modi’s trial is likely to take a long time, and the outcome will depend on how the Indian probe agencies counter his attempts to India’s oppose extradition request. A joint director-level officer each from both investigation agencies were sent to London with the necessary documents, the person added.

Last week, a Mumbai Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court had issued a non-bailable warrant against Modi’s wife, Ami, whose last known address was in the US. The ED team will also carry the documents pertaining to the latest charge sheet against her, along with a list of the recent attachments made by the agency in the case.

The Indian sleuths will meet British officials, including those from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), and brief them about the charges and fresh evidence against Nirav Modi, his family members and others in connection with the case.

The 48-year-old diamantaire is accused of fraud and money laundering of over ₹14,356 crore from state-run Punjab National Bank in collusion with his uncle and Gitanjali Gems promoter Mehul Choksi.

On 21 March, Nirav Modi informed the Westminster Magistrates’ Court that he intended to contest India’s extradition request, and offered £500,000 as security to seek bail. The judge dismissed the request, labelling him as a “flight risk”.

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