New Delhi: A UK court on Thursday (February 25, 2021) ordered the extradition of fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi and accepted the Indian case that he threatened witnesses and tampered with evidence.
After a nearly a two-year-long legal battle, the District Judge Samuel Goozee at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court also accepted the prima facie evidence against Modi for money laundering.
"I am satisfied on the evidence that a prima facie case of fraud and money laundering is established," said Judge Goozee, as he read out parts of his judgment in court and concluded, repoted PTI.
The ruling will be sent to the UK's Secretary of State, Priti Patel, who is the authorised to order an extradition under the India-UK Extradition Treaty. She has two months within which to make that decision.
Nirav Modi, who is behind bars in a London prison on charges of fraud and money laundering in the estimated $2-billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam case.
Modi is the subject of two sets of criminal proceedings, with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) case relating to a large-scale fraud upon PNB through the fraudulent obtaining of letters of undertaking (LoUs) or loan agreements, and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) case relating to the laundering of the proceeds of that fraud.
Nirav Modi was arrested on an extradition warrant on March 19, 2019, and has appeared via videolink from Wandsworth Prison for a series of court hearings in the extradition case. His multiple attempts at seeking bail have been repeatedly turned down, both at the Magistrates' and High Court level, as he was deemed a flight risk.