London: Fugitive billionaire diamantaire Nirav Modi, accused in the $2 billion Punjab National Bank fraud case, is living openly in a swanky 8-million pound apartment in London’s West End and is now involved in a new diamond business, a British daily reported on Saturday.
On March 9, ministry of external affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that the government knows Nirav Modi is in England, and has lodged an extradition request to which UK home ministry is yet to respond.
Raveesh Kumar,MEA: All necessary steps are being taken for the extradition of Nirav Modi. We have been aware of his presence in UK. It(extradition request) is under their(UK Govt) consideration pic.twitter.com/Jvc4H3WEzc
— ANI (@ANI) March 9, 2019
Modi, 48, is currently living in a three-bedroom flat occupying half of a floor of the landmark Centre Point tower block, where rent is estimated to cost 17,000 pounds a month, The Telegraph reported.
The revelation comes a day after Modi’s 30,000 sq ft seaside mansion at Kihim beach in Maharashtra was demolished by authorities using explosives.
Despite his bank accounts being frozen by the Indian authorities and an Interpol red notice being issued for his arrest, Modi, a diamond jeweller whose designs have been worn by Hollywood stars, is now involved in a new diamond business based in London, the report said.
In a video posted by the newspaper, Modi can be seen sporting a handle-bar moustache and wearing an Ostrich Hide jacket, estimated to cost 10,000 pounds. When journalists from the paper questioned him on various issues, including whether he has urged Britain to grant him asylum, Modi ducked them by saying, “Sorry, no comments”.
A source told the UK daily that Modi had been given a National Insurance number by the department for work and pensions, meaning he can legally work in Britain, and has used British bank accounts.
(With inputs from PTI)