The Westminster Magistrates court has issued an arrest warrant against absconding economic fugitive Nirav Modi, who is accused of defrauding Indian banks to a tune of Rs 13,700 crores.
The arrest warrant will be served at the British residence of the diamantaire, and will be a provisional one. It is a procedure which is followed before formal extradition begins.
Just over a week ago, Nirav Modi was caught roaming on the UK street by a British daily. Following that, ED sources said that the UK authorities took note of India's extradition request of 2018 and ordered the court to initiate legal proceedings against the fugitive absconder.
Sources in the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said they had been officially informed about UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid's move to forward the case to a London court. This move took the process of extraditing and bringing back Modi to face the law in India to the next stage, the sources added.
Soon, they said, a joint team of the ED and the CBI would be traveling to the UK to apprise the lawyers about the Indian case and evidence against Modi, in a similar fashion that was done in the case of another absconding bank-fraud accused, Vijay Mallya.
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 last year.
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 had reported.
It came after the Raigad administration completely demolished his sprawling seaside mansion in the district. Thirty kilos of explosives were used by the authorities. Excavators were used to open up the pillars of the bungalow, called Roopanya, to make space for fixing the detonators. A special technical team was called to fix them.
(With inputs from PTI)