Govt on Nirav Modi: Aware he’s in London, waiting for UK to respond to extradition request

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveen Kumar addresses a press conference. (PTI Photo/File)

Responding to The Telegraph’s video of Nirav Modi in London, the Ministry of External Affairs Saturday said it was waiting for the United Kingdom to respond to India’s request for extradition of the fugitive diamantaire. MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the government was aware of Modi’s whereabouts, which is why India sent an extradition request.

"We are aware that (Nirav Modi) is in the UK, otherwise we wouldn’t have requested for extradition," he said at his weekly briefing in New Delhi. "We made a request, based on information provided by the CBI and ED, in August last year. Despite what we see on television, the status remains the same."

"Just because he has been spotted doesn’t mean he will be brought back immediately. It is for the UK to consider our request and respond," Kumar added. "If you think we aren’t pursuing this, then you are wrong. Just like we followed Vijay Mallya’s case, we are following this with the same intensity. Whatever steps that need to be taken by the government of India will be taken."

The Telegraph Saturday published a video of Modi walking around the streets of London. It reported that he is living in a luxurious apartment in London's West End and has opened a new diamond business.

In the 2-minute off video, Modi repeatedly says "no comment" to questions posed to him by a reporter.

Explained: Why spotting Nirav Modi in London is not good news for the govt

Modi and his maternal uncle Mehul Choksi are wanted by Indian investigating agencies in connection with irregularities detected by the Punjab National Bank to the tune of Rs 13,600 crore.

The duo left India in January last year, weeks before the scam was unearthed. While Modi is in the UK, Choksi has become a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda and is learnt to be residing there.