Greenery in the pocket: Some prominent Indians who've sought refuge in United Kingdom have been men of considerable financial means-music director Nadeem Saifi, former IPL administrator Lalit Modi, Kingfisher Airlines' Vijay Mallya, and, the most recent, diamantaire Nirav Modi, accused of perpetrating the biggest fraud on Indian banking system, of $2 billion.
On February 15, 2018, the ED had registered a money laundering case against Nirav Modi and others under the provisions of the PMLA on the basis of an FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
The confirmation that Nirav Modi is in the United Kingdom comes hours after global business daily Financial Times, citing Indian and British governments, reported that the billionaire jeweller is in London where he is trying to claim asylum from what he calls "political persecution". However, New Delhi has delayed the signing of the final agreement, apparently due to the concerns raised by certain quarters in the government, another official said.
In fact, India's only successful extradition request so far was made in 2016, when Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel, an accused in the 2002 Gujarat riots, was extradited from the UK.
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Britain's Home Office, which deals with the asylum requests, has reportedly refused to confirm or deny the reports of Modi seeking political asylum saying that 'it does not provide information on individual cases'.
Billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi is at the centre of the over $2 billion PNB fraud case.
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This figure is said to be just a part of the total losses.
His escape had caused massive public outcry, with opposition political parties accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of helping him flee.
He is the third Indian fugitive after beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya and former IPL commissioner Lalit to have fled to that nation.
Indian police issued a warrant for the billionaire diamond trader's arrest.
The PNB came to light as the Indian government tries to reduce crippling debts accumulated by state-run banks.
The losses were largely because it had to set aside funds to pay the other banks for the illegal guarantees issued in the scam. The case has soured British-Indian relations.