Here’s how the 13-month chase for Nirav Modi came to an end


Nirav Modi was arrested a short while ago in London.

13 months ago, it came to light that celebrity diamantaire Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi had defrauded Punjab National Bank (PNB), India’s second-largest state-owned bank, of more than ₹143 billion ($2.1 billion).

By using illegal letters of guarantee procured through PNB’s Brady House branch in Mumbai, the pair and their affiliates had taken loans from the overseas branches of a number of Indian banks since 2011 and had subsequently defaulted on them.

A warrant for Modi’s arrest was issued by a Westminister Court on March 18th. The warrant came a week after he was spotted on the streets of London with a full beard.

Here is how the events leading up to his arrest unfolded.

Early January 2018: Nirav Modi reportedly leaves India.

January 29th, 2018: Punjab National Bank filed a complaint with the CBI alleging that Nirav Modi, his uncle Mehul Choksi and their associates had swindled the bank through transactions at its Brady House branch in Mumbai.

February 15th, 2018: India’s Enforcement Directorate registers a money laundering case against Nirav Modi and his associates under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Early March 2018: The UK’s Serious Fraud Office confirms to India in early March that Nirav Modi is in London.

April 5th, 2018: Regulators in Belgium freeze the two bank accounts of Modi after a request from the ED to do so.

April 8th, 2018: A court in Mumbai issues non-bailable arrest warrants for Modi and Choksi at the CBI’s request.

June 13th, 2018: The CBI approached Interpol to issue a red notice against Modi and Choksi. A red notice is a request to locate and arrest a criminal on the run, but not an international arrest warrant.

June 29th, 2018: Interpol issues a red corner notice against Modi, thereby enabling the cooperation of international police.

August 20th 2018: The extradition process against Nirav Modi is initiated. An application is lodged with the UK Home Office. However, the application is reportedly missing certain documents, which causes proceedings to be delayed.

October 1st, 2018: The ED seizes around ₹6.4 billion of Nirav Modi’s assets. This includes properties in India and abroad as well as jewelry and bank deposits.

March 8th, 2019: The UK Home Office certified India’s extradition request, deeming Nirav Modi’s case “fit for extradition”. The case was then transferred to the District Court in Westminister, which had to issue the summons.

March 9th, 2019: The Telegraph, a UK daily, broke the news that Nirav Modi was living in London. The newspaper said it had tracked Modi down to his £8 million (₹726 million) flat in London’s West End.


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