Saturday, March 9, 2019

India’s most wanted man lives in £8m London flat

India’s most wanted man lives in £8m London flat

BILLIONAIRE diamond tycoon who is India’s most wanted man has been tracked down by The Daily Telegraph to an £8million apartment in London’sWest End.

Nirav Modi fled India last year after becoming a suspect in the biggest banking fraud in the country’s history. Mr Modi, 48, a diamond jeweller 

whose designs have been worn by Hollywood stars, went on the run after being accused of defrauding £1.5bil‑lion from an Indian bank.
An Interpol red notice for Mr. Modi’sarrest was issued on the request of the Indian authorities in July but he has continued to remain at large. The Telegraph has now tracked the jeweller down to a three‑bedroom flat in the landmark Centre Point tower block, which has views across London. The rent for the property is likely to be
about £17,000 a month. India’s authorities have frozen his business bank accounts, while a string of boutiques – including a  flagship store in Old Bond Street – have been shut down.
Yet The Telegraph can disclose that Mr. Modi is involved in a new diamond business run from an office in Soho, just a few hundred yards from his new apartment. The business, which was incorporated last May, is linked to his flat in Centre Point, although he is not listed as a director at Companies House. The Telegraph has also learant from Government source that Mr. Modi was given a National Insurance number in recent months by the Department for Work and Pensions and has been able to operate online bank accounts in the 
UK while wanted by Indian authorities. The ability of Mr. Modi to continue living a privileged lifestyle in London will raise serious questions potentially threatening a rift between the UK and India.
It is not clear why the British Government has given him a National 
Insurance number while apparently failing to act on the Interpol red notice.
A red notice is a request to locate and provisionally arrest an induvial pending extradition. It is not an international arrest warrant and Interpol
cannot compel any member country to arrest an individual who is the subject of a red notice.
One possibility put to the Home Office by The Telegraph is that Mr Modi 
may have applied for asylum in the UK. 
The Home Office said it does not comment on individual cases.When approached by The Telegraph after leaving his new offices, Mr Modi 
repeatedly answered “no comment” to a series of questions put to him.
India is reported to have requested Mr Modi’s extradition, but courts 
appear to have no record of any case beingopened against him.
The Interpol red notice names Nirav Deepak Modi as “wanted by the judicial authorities of India”. It includes a photograph and his date of birth. The red notice lists a string of charges that 
include “criminal conspiracy, breach of trust, cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property, corruption, and money laundering”.
Mr Modi is accused, along with his uncle Mehul Choksi, of defrauding Punjab National Bank. It is alleged that he and his associates had fraudulentlyacquired Punjab National Bank guarantees without approval that they later used to obtain loans from overseas 
branches of Indian banks.Mr Modi, through his lawyers, has 
protested his innocence.At the peak of his wealth, Forbes estimated that Mr Modi was worth £1.3billion. But a string of assets have
been seized by Indian authorities, including luxury cars, jewellery, paint‑
ings and watches.Properties in India – including a sea‑side bungalow which was demolished yesterday because it didn’t have proper planning permission – as well as apartments in New York and London worth 
£30million have also been seized by India’s Enforcement Directorate.

At the peak of his wealth,Forbes estimated he was worth £1.3bn, but a string of assets have been seized’
(Telegraph News)

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