New Delhi: After investigating agencies found that absconding jeweller Nirav Modi had at least half-a-dozen Indian passports, it has now come to light that the Regional Passport Office in Mumbai had issued a 'dual' passport to the diamond merchant.
According to CNN-News18 sources, RPO had issued five out of six passports in lieu of the old passports getting expired. However, the latest one was issued before the expiry of the last one.
The first passport was issued on May 8, 2008 and was valid till May 7, 2018. However, the passport office issued another one on May 9, 2017, which will expire on May 8, 2027. Legally, the second passport should have been issued once the earlier one gets expired. In this case, the second passport was issued much in advance.
Modi, accused of Rs 13,000 crore PNB fraud, has been traced to Belgium by Indian intelligence agencies and his frequent travels, despite the revocation of his passport, have led the sleuths to unearth that of the six passports he held, two were active for quite some time.
The four other passports were found to be not active. Of the two active passports, one had Modi’s full name while the other only had his first name with a 40-month UK visa issued against it and that is probably how he kept travelling to various countries, despite the government revoking his first known passport earlier this year.
The second passport was also subsequently revoked by the Indian authorities. News agency PTI quoted sources as saying that the government, through the ministry of external affairs, has informed the Interpol about the two revoked passports of Modi, but it appears that in the absence of a uniform international mechanism, the legal blocking of the documents in various countries could not be done and the fugitive diamantaire kept using those to travel through airports and possibly seaports too.
The revocation order of the passports has been appended to the application of the probe agencies (CBI and ED), seeking an Interpol arrest warrant or a “red corner notice” against Modi.