UK May Extradite Diamond Magnate Modi to India

Опубликовано: 03 Март 2021

Nirav Modi

Indian diamond magnate, Nirav Modi. (Photo: Crossroads Foundation, Flickr, License)

A U.K. court said Indian billionaire and diamond magnate Nirav Modi can be extradited to his native country which accused him three years ago of bank fraud worth US$1.8 billion, money laundering and interfering with an investigation.

Modi’s extradition could send a signal to more than 300 fugitives India is trying to get hold of, mostly through Interpol, local media reported on Wednesday.

The Westminster Magistrates’ Court decided last week that Modi’s extradition would be possible, rejecting arguments made by Modi’s defense about his weak mental health.

“I am satisfied that there is evidence upon which Nirav Modi could be convicted in relation to the conspiracy to defraud the Punjab National Bank,” District Judge, Sam Goozée, said in his ruling.

He stressed that a prima facie case - a case accepted as correct until proven otherwise - has been established. He explained that Modi may not be convicted for what he has been charged with, but that there was enough evidence that he may be asked to explain at trial if handed over to India.

Modi’s safety in a prison in India was also an issue, but the Indian government provided documentation, including a video showing the conditions at a prison in Mumbai where Modi would be held.

However, extradition of a popular designer of diamond jewelry, often worn by celebrities like actresses Kate Winslet and Dakota Johnson, model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, or Bollywood star and former Miss World, Priyanka Chopra, now depends on the U.K. Secretary of State, who has the last word, actually signature, according to U.K. laws.

Modi was among the 100 richest people in India in 2017, taking 85th place among the country’s billionaires, while his wealth placed him 1,234th among the richest people in the world, according to Forbes.

Accusations made against him in 2018 resulted in Modi’s serious drop on the Forbes list.