Indian Billionaire Jeweler Seeks Asylum in the UK After Alleged Involvement in Bank Fraud

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A jeweler from India is said to be on the run because of a £1.4 billion alleged bank fraud. According to officials, he is currently hiding in the United Kingdom.

Nirav Modi is an Indian billionaire whose clients have included well-known actresses such as Kate Winslet and Naomi Watts. He is accused of an involvement in a scam that was made against Punjab National Bank (PNB), the second-largest state-run lender of India.

According to the Financial Times, officials in the United Kingdom and India have claimed that Modi has been seeking asylum in the United Kingdom for what he called as a “political persecution.”

The Home Office of the United Kingdom said that it does not provide details on individual cases.

Investigators from India are studying claims that Modi and his uncle and business partner who is also a diamond merchant, Mehul Choksi, defrauded PNB in a scam that was worth 2.8 billion rupees (£31 million). The figure is said to be only a part of the actual total losses that resulted from the scam.

Allegedly, according to the bank, Modi and Choksi defrauded PNB by obtaining credit from some international branches of other Indian banks by making use of illegal guarantees that were provided by some rogue employees of the PNB.

The investigators have already arrested 25 people on charges of allowing the defrauding of the bank using documents that were proven to be forged.

The Ministry of external affairs said that the government was still waiting for law enforcement agencies to come to them before pushing for an extradition, which has not happened, thus far.

Modi is the third generation of his family to go into the diamond trade. According to Forbes, he is worth £1.3 billion. He is in the 85th place on the rich list of India. His high-end Nirav Modi brand has a number of stores in some of the major cities in the world.