Indian authorities have reiterated that the government is doing its best to extradite beleaguered jeweller Nirav Modi after he was spotted in London.
However, according to an NDTV report published on Tuesday, 12 March, the British authorities have claimed that several queries were sent to India regarding Nirav Modi, but they received no response.
These claims were denied by the ED in a press release, saying the facts have been “distorted” and “wrong conclusions” have been drawn.
‘Wrote Letters to India But Got No Response’
In the report citing sources, NDTV noted that it has learnt from the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in London that the first alert India had sent to the UK was in February 2018 after the CBI registered a criminal case against Nirav Modi and his family members.
The SFO had reportedly confirmed to India by March that Nirav Modi was in the UK. The SFO also assigned a counsel, lawyer Barry Stancombe, to help India with the case.
However, NDTV reported that Stancombe and her team wrote three letters to India asking for more documents. The team also communicated that they were willing to travel to India to collect evidence but didn't get a response.
The Ministry of External Affairs on Saturday, 9 March said:
“All necessary steps are being taken for the extradition of Nirav Modi. We have been aware of his presence in UK. It [extradition request] is under their [UK government] consideration.”
However, by December, the SFO stopped pursuing the case due to “lack of interest” on India’s part, NDTV reported quoting sources.
‘Article Contrary to Facts & International protocols’: ED Responds
Refuting claims reported in NDTV, the ED, in a two-page press release, said that no such communication was received by the agency from UK Authorities in March 2018 or at a later date informing about Nirav Modi's whereabouts in UK. The release suggested that the first reply it received from the UK was in June 2018, which had asked for intelligence suggesting that Nirav Modi is in the UK.
It also responded saying the request for extradition of Modi was sent to July 2018, adding that the ED had time to time sent detailed responses to UK Authorities' queries.
“It appears that understanding in the article regarding the legal issues is contrary to the facts and established international protocols and procedures. It is reiterated that Enforcement Directorate has been proactively following up all the issues relating to the Nirav Modi case with Authorities of various countries including the UK.”
(With inputs from NDTV)
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