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Nirav Modi in possession of 3 passports, UK court told


Well-known member
  • Fourteen months after he fled India, fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi has been arrested in London.
  • He was sent to police custody by a UK court till March 29 after being denied bail.
  • Modi is wanted in connection with a Rs 13,500 crore PNB fraud case.
NEW DELHI: Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, who was arrested in London on Wednesday and remanded in custody till March 29 by the Westminster Magistrates' Court, was in possession of three passports. This emerged when Modi was produced before the court. According to PTI, Modi's defence team told the court about the existence of the multiple travel documents during his plea for bail, which was rejected by District Judge Marie Mallon.

The passports, since revoked by the Indian authorities, include one now in possession of the Metropolitan Police, a second expired passport lying with the UK Home Office and a third with the UK's Driving and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA).

Besides the passports, the court was told that Modi possessed multiple residency cards, some of them expired, but covering countries/regions such as the UAE, Singapore and Hong Kong.

"He is the opposite of a flight risk and demonstrably so, given his keenness to fully cooperate with the [UK] authorities," claimed barrister George Hepburne Scott, who led Modi's defence team, while offering to surrender all residency and travel documents.

It remained unclear how Modi, wanted on fraud and money laundering charges amounting to Rs. 13,500 crore, came to be in possession of multiple passports.

In her decision to turn down Modi's bail plea, the judge noted that he possessed the means to acquire further travel documents and therefore there are "substantial grounds" to believe he may not surrender before the court if granted bail.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), arguing the case for his extradition to face the Indian justice system on behalf of the Indian government, had strongly opposed bail because Modi had "deliberately evaded justice" and not returned to India despite a series of criminal summons issued by Indian courts.


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