London/New Delhi: Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi's bail application has been rejected by the London's Westminster Magistrate court. In his next date of hearing on April 26, Modi will be produced through video conferencing.
On March 20, during Modi's first hearing, the District Judge Marie Mallon denied him bail and he is in the custody since then. He was arrested by Scotland Yard officers from a central London bank branch on March 19.
Modi, the main accused in the USD 2 billion PNB fraud case, had fled from India immediately after the PNB Scam surfaced last year. A Red Corner Notice was issued by the Interpol against him in June last year. Meanwhile, the External Affairs ministry has already sent an extradition request to the United Kingdom.
India's premier investigative agencies, the Enforcement Directorate as well as the CBI are probing the PNB scam involving Modi and his Uncle and aide Mehul Choksi. Choksi also fled India last year and has taken refuge in Antigua.
The CBI has registered an FIR against Modi, Choksi, Modi's brother and wife. While his wife Ami is a US citizen, his brother Nishal is a Belgian citizen.
Modi along with Choksi allegedly cheated Punjab National Bank through fraudulent issuance of Letters of Undertakings (LoUs) and Foreign Letters of Credit (FLCs).
During his first court appearance, it emerged that the diamantaire accused of defrauding India's state-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) via fraudulent Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) had been in possession of multiple passports since revoked by the Indian authorities.
While one passport is now in possession of the Metropolitan Police, a second expired passport is lying with the UK Home Office and a third with the UK's Driving and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) for a driver's licence.
Besides the passports, Modi also possesses multiple residency cards, some of them expired, but covering countries/regions such as the UAE, Singapore and Hong Kong.
His defence team tried to establish his very "visible" and "lawful" residence at his luxury Centre Point apartment in London's West End, paying his local council tax and also using a National Insurance number, allocated to legal UK residents for purposes of work.