The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has approached Interpol, seeking a red corner notice against Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, both of whom are accused in the Rs 140-billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case.
A red corner is a request to locate and provisionally detain a person till the extradition process is complete. It is issued in the case of individuals sought for prosecution or to serve a sentence.
A CBI official said the agency’s request had been sent to Interpol.ALSO READ: UK confirms Nirav Modi's presence in Britain, assures full support to India
Nirav, along with his wife, Ami, a US citizen; brother Nishal, a Belgian; and uncle Choksi, the Gitanjali group’s promoter had fled the country in the first week of January this year before PNB approached the CBI with a complaint against his companies for allegedly cheating the lender through fraudulent letters of undertaking (LoUs) and foreign letters of credit (FLCs).
The CBI, in its charge sheet filed last month, alleged that Nirav, through his companies, siphoned off Rs 64.98 billion. Choksi allegedly salted away Rs 70.81 billion, making this possibly the biggest banking scam in the country. They took credit from overseas branches of Indian banks, using fraudulent LoUs and letters of credit.
ALSO READ: PNB fraud: Nirav Modi flees to UK, seeking 'political asylum', says report
The CBI is also probing an additional loan default of more than Rs 50 billion by Choksi's companies.
On Monday, India also said that the UK should not be viewed as a safe haven for wanted criminals of other countries, even as Britain confirmed Nirav Modi’s presence on its soil. India’s clear message was conveyed to UK Minister of State for Countering Extremism Baroness Williams by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home Kiren Rijiju, at a meeting.
Raising the issue of fugitives such as Nirav Modi and liquor baron Vijay Mallya, Rijiju said Britain should not be viewed as a safe haven for men wanted by the law of the other country for various offences, a statement issued by the Home Ministry said.
The MoS conveyed to Williams that while India respects the courts and will pursue legal procedures in Britain to bring back wanted men, New Delhi expects cooperation of the UK government.
Allaying concerns over prison conditions in India, Rijiju said there are absolute safeguards against human rights violations in Indian prisons, the statement said.
Williams also assured Rijiju of Britain’s full cooperation in the Indian government’s efforts to bring back Nirav Modi, Mallya and others, the official said.
ALSO READ: India tells UK not to provide safe haven for India's wanted criminal
Modi, who is absconding and has not joined the ED probe in the case till now, and others, are being probed under various criminal laws.
“I had a very useful meeting with UK Minister Baroness Williams. We discussed about India-UK joint efforts to deal with terrorism and extremism. We also agreed to cooperate in the matters of extradition and sharing of information,” Rijiju told reporters after the meeting.
With inputs from PTI