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Nirav Modi likely to be held in separate cell in Wandsworth prison

Modi, who was living in a plush apartment in Centre Point in the West End until his arrest on Tuesday, was sent to prison on the eve of Holi

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Nirav Modi
Nirav Modi. File photo

Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, who was remanded in custody till March 29 by a UK court on Wednesday, is likely to be held in a separate cell in Her Majesty's Prison Wandsworth, which is one of the largest prisons in western Europe. In the prison in south London, 48-year-old Modi's inmates will include the likes of alleged Dawood henchman Pakistani-origin Jabir Moti, currently undergoing extradition proceedings to the US.

Modi, who was living in a plush apartment in Centre Point in the West End until his arrest on Tuesday, was sent to prison on the eve of Holi.

HMP Wandsworth is a Category B prison, where criminals are held if not deemed to be of a high level of security risk.

It can currently hold 1,628 prisoners and was originally built in 1851.

Since 1989, there has been extensive refurbishment and modernisation of the wings, including in-cell sanitation, privacy screens for cells occupied by more than one prisoner and the more recent installation of in-cell electricity, the UK Justice Department notes in reference to the prison.

Modi is likely to be held in a separate cell until his next hearing on March 29.

He was arrested from a Metro Bank branch in London by uniformed officers Tuesday, when he went there to open a new bank account.

Modi and his uncle, Mehul Choksi, are the main accused in the scam and they both left India before the details of the fraud came to light in January 2018.

He is one of India's richest men, worth an estimated $1.75 billion, according to Forbes. He launched his own eponymous brand in 2010 and he soon had stores across India, as well as in New York, London and Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, when Modi was produced before the Westminster Magistrates' Court in London, it emerged that he was in possession of three passports.

The 48-year-old's defence team, led by barrister George Hepburne Scott, told the court about the existence of the multiple travel documents during his plea for bail, which was rejected by District Judge Marie Mallon.

The passports, since revoked by the Indian authorities, include one now in possession of the Metropolitan Police, a second expired passport lying with the UK Home Office and a third with the UK's Driving and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA).

Besides the passports, the court was told that Modi possessed multiple residency cards, some of them expired, but covering countries/regions such as the UAE, Singapore and Hong Kong.

First Published: Wed, March 20 2019. 21:02 IST
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