United Kingdom's (UK) Home Minister has approved the extradition of fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi to India, a CBI official informed on Friday. Nirav Modi is accused of Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud scam.
Nirav Modi, who is currently lodged in a UK prison, is being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) money laundering case since 2018.
"The UK Home Minister has approved the extradition request of Nirav Modi," a CBI source said.
How long will it take for Nirav Modi to extradite to India
Asked how long will it take for the CBI will bring back the fugitive businessman, who has been lodged in a prison in London since his arrest in March 2019, the source said that if Nirav Modi files an appeal, then it may take some time.
On February 25 this year, a UK court allowed the extradition of Nirav Modi in the Rs 13,500 crore PNB scam case.
UK court accepts prima facie evidence against Nirav Modi
The District Judge at the Westminster Magistrates' Court, Samuel Goozee, accepted the prima facie evidence against Nirav Modi for money laundering, saying, "Many of these are a matter for trial in India. I am satisfied again that there is evidence that he could be convicted," according to reports.
The CBI had then dubbed the UK court judgement as a "significant" achievement in its efforts to curb corruption.
CBI point of view on Nirav's trial
The CBI in a statement had said that the UK court ruling is "a reminder that fugitives, who have eluded the process of law after commission of large value frauds, cannot consider themselves above the process merely because they have changed jurisdictions".
Nirav Modi was arrested on an extradition warrant on March 19, 2019 on charges of money laundering, conspiring to destroy evidence and intimidating witnesses.
PNB dismissed employees after scam broke out
As soon as the matter came to light, Punjab National Bank immediately sacked 10 of its employees from the job. It has also come to the light that earlier the money was sent via the CBS (Core Banking) system but later it was done with the help of SWIFT system.
Nirav Modi facing CBI probe over large scale fraud
Nirav Modi is facing probe by the CBI for a large-scale fraud upon PNB through fraudulently obtaining LoUs or loan agreements. He is also being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a case relating to the laundering of the proceeds of that fraud.
Meanwhile, he also faces two additional charges of "causing disappearance of evidence" and "intimidating witnesses" or "criminal intimidation to cause death", which were added on to the CBI case.
The ED has attached several assets of Nirav Modi running into crores of rupees in connection with the case.
Nirav Modi's uncle, Mehul Choksi of Geetanjali group, who is believed to be in Antigua, is also being probed in connection with the case.