The Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) on Saturday has directed fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi, who is currently lodged in a London prison, and his aides to pay more than Rs 7,200 crore with interest to the defrauded Punjab National Bank.
NIrav Modi is wanted in India as the main accused in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money laundering case which amounts up to USD 2 billion. Two orders were passed in favour of the PNB by Presiding Officer Deepak Thakkar. Thakkar also holds the additional charge of Debt Recovery Tribunal, Mumbai.
"Defendant and his partners are ordered and directed to pay to the applicant (PNB) either jointly or severally the aggregate sum of Rs 7029,06,87,950.65 with interest of 14.30 per cent per annum from June 30, 2018," stated the DRT order.
In another order, the judge directed Nirav Modi and his associates to pay Rs 232,15,92,636 to PNB with interest of 16.20 per cent commencing from July 27, 2018. A DRT official said that recovery officials will initiate further action. Nirav Modi was taken in custody by uniformed Scotland Yard officers in Central London on March 19. Modi is looking towards extradition in central London on March 19. He faces extradition to India as a ' principal beneficiary' for the fraud which included the issuance of letters of undertaking (LoUs) which was a part of a conspiracy that defrauded the PNB. The proceeds of the crime were further laundered.
As of now, Nirav Modi is imprisoned and lodged at one of England's most overcrowded prison- Her Majesty's Prison (HMP) Wandsworth. Earlier on Tuesday, Singapore authorities cracked the whip on the fugitive diamantaire and froze Nirav Modi's assets worth millions. Bank accounts connected to Nirav Modi’s sister Purvi Modi Mehta and Maiank Mehta have been frozen — worth Rs 44 crore.
The move was taken by Singapore High Court after ED's request on the ground that deposits in the bank account owned by Purvi Modi and Maiank Mehta were made from proceeds of crime illegally siphoned off by Nirav Modi from the Punjab National Bank.