Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, one of the prime accused in the Punjab National Bank scam, is living openly in an ‘$8 million dollar apartment’ in London’s West End, reported The Telegraph who confronted him on a busy city road.
According to the report, he occupies a three bedroom flat in a chic street in Central London with views spanning across the city. The Telegraph says the rent for a property like that would be approximately $17,000 a month.
The report added that Modi, whose business bank accounts and a flagship store in Old Bond Street was closed by Indian authorities, he continues to own a diamond business run from an office in Soho, near his new apartment.
The business, the report says, was incorporated last year and is linked to his flat since he is not listed as a director at Companies House. The Telegraph reports that the business on the Companies House is listed as ‘a wholesale trader in watches and jewellery and a retailer of watches and jewellery in specialised stores.’
When The Telegraph approached him on the way back from his office, Modi, who spotted a handle-bar mustache and wore an expensive jacket, repeatedly answered “no comments” to a series of questions, including is he has sought asylum in the United Kingdom.
Modi was also reportedly given a National Insurance number recently by the UK Department for Work & Pensions and was also allowed to operate online bank accounts in the UK despite India requesting his extradition, added The Telegraph quoting top government sources.
In June last year, the Interpol had issued a Red Corner notice against Nirav Modi, his brother Nishal Modi and his employee Subhash Parab on the request of the Central Bureau of Investigation.
In its Red Corner Notice issued against a fugitive, the Interpol asks its 192 member countries to arrest or detain the person if spotted in their countries after which extradition or deportation proceedings can begin.
Nirav Modi’s Alibaug Bungalow Demolished
On Friday, 8 March, Nirav Modi’s sprawling seaside mansion in Alibaug was demolished using explosives.
Few days ago, detonators were fixed at various points on the bungalow – located around 110 km from Mumbai – to carry out the ‘implosion’ and bring it down in a single-shot.
Modi, along with his uncle Mehul Choksi and others, are the prime accused and fugitives in the Rs 14,000-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud admitted in February 2018.
Though the Alibag bungalow was not directly linked with the PNB scam, it was attached by the ED along with his known assets in Maharashtra, Gujarat and other places in an effort to recover a part of the dues from Modi.
Built in 2009-2010, on a 70,000 square feet plot, the 33,000 square feet bungalow with several bedrooms is accessible through a long driveway, protected by high metal fencing and a huge security gate, and was noted for lavish parties hosted here regularly.