Interpol issues red corner notice against Nirav Modi

Nirav modi

New Delhi, July 2 (IANS) Interpol has issued a red corner notice (RCN) against fugitive diamond jeweller Nirav Modi following a CBI request to this effect in connection with Rs 13,500-crore fraud on Punjab National Bank (PNB), officials said here on Monday.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials said that the Interpol would also issue an RCN against Nirav Modi’s uncle Mehul Choksi of Gitanjali Group.

“Interpol has accepted our request to issue RCN against Nirav Modi, his brother Nishal Modi and an executive of his company Subhash Parab,” a CBI official told IANS.

The official said that the Interpol had slapped the charges of money laundering against the fugitive diamantaire, as levelled by Enforcement Directorate (ED).

The RCN against Nirav Modi contains his photograph, personal details such as the date of birth and the charges against him.

However, the pictures and personal details of Nirav Modi’s brother Nishal and his company’s executive Parab was not visible in the Interpol’s website.

A CBI source said that the personal details and the pictures of the two would soon be updated in their website.

He said that the Interpol would also issue the RCN against Choksi in next three to four days.

According to agency officials, with the RCN issued against the three, now they can be arrested by any of the 192 member countries of the Interpol, after which extradition or deportation proceedings can begin.

The ED and the CBI had written to the Interpol in June to issue the RCN against the jeweller.

On June 11, the CBI first approached the Interpol to issue the RCN. On June 13, it again approached to issue an RCN against Nishal Modi, a Belgian national, and Parab.

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Earlier, the CBI tried to track Nirav’s movements through a diffusion notice issued to six countries — the US, Singapore, Belgium, the UAE, the UK and France — through the Interpol on February 15, but only the UK replied with details about his movements to and from London’s Heathrow Airport till March 31.

According to the information from the UK, Nirav managed to travel across several countries — US, Hong Kong, France and the UK — even after the Indian government informed the Interpol that his passport had been revoked.

The CBI sent the request to the Interpol after it filed the first charge-sheet naming Nirav Modi, Nishal and Parab, besides 18 others in a special court in Mumbai on May 14.

The CBI filed three FIRs between January and March to probe the PNB fraud. Most of the accused are common to these cases. The fraud was committed during 2011-17 by illegally issuing Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) and Foreign Letters of Credit (FLCs).

In its first charge-sheet, the CBI alleged that Nirav Modi, through his companies, siphoned off funds to the tune of Rs 6,498.20 crore using fraudulent LoUs issued from PNB’s Brady House branch in Mumbai. His uncle Mehul Choksi allegedly swindled Rs 7,080.86 crore.

Nirav Modi left the country along with his family in the first week of January, weeks before the scam was reported to the CBI.

His wife Ami, a US citizen, left on January 6 and Choksi on January 4.