Nirav Modi hired legal expert who helped Vijay Mallya

Geraldine Edwards
March 21, 2019

Fugitive billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi was arrested on behalf of Indian authorities on Tuesday afternoon in London and was produced before a judge at the Westminster Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

His arrest came days after a London court issued an arrest warrant against him in response to a request by the Enforcement Directorate for his extradition in a money laundering case.

Zaiwalla said it would be interesting to see if Nirav Modi has applied for asylum in United Kingdom, then the extradition proceedings are unlikely to begin until that (asylum) application is rejected.

The 48-year-old, who appeared in the dock at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on Wednesday in a sombre white shirt and pants, was taken to Her Majesty's Prison (HMP) Wandsworth after he was remanded in custody until March 29 by District Judge Marie Mallon. Furthermore, a non-bailabl warrant has been issued by PMLA court against Ami Modi, wife of Nirav Modi.

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News of the certification of India's request came just as Modi was tracked down to a three-bedroom flat in the Centre Point tower block of luxury apartments in the West End of London. The men are thought to have left India before the alleged fraud was discovered. Modi's legal team was headed by Barrister George Hepburne-Scott and his solicitor, Anand Doobay, is the same legal expert hired by liquor baron Vijay Mallya in his extradition proceedings against India.

District Judge Marie Mallon said there were substantial grounds to believe he might not surrender to bail and no conditions would satisfy her to grant his release.

After the court rules for Modi's extradition, the British Home Secretary would be expected to once again sign the order for compliance.

The ED and the CBI are investigating Modi, his uncle Mehul Choksi and others for alleged money laundering and corruption to perpetrate the alleged scam in the Brady House branch of the PNB in Mumbai that was unearthed past year.

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Nirav Modi, who was seen roaming on the streets of London recently, has been arrested by the London police. Nirav Modi was arrested on Wednesday by Scotland Yard in London.

Modi denies the allegations and has sought political asylum in the UK.

Punjab National Bank, according to Reuters, claimed past year that two jewelry groups operated by Modi and his uncle, Mehul Choksi, defrauded it by working with rogue staff. At this stage, complications could arise only if Modi has already acquired the citizenship of any European country or other global citizenship, Zaiwalla explained.

Modi was employed in London on a monthly salary of £20,000 and regularly paid his council tax, his lawyers added.

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