The Centre’s Narendra Modi government was left red-faced after a London newspaper posted a video of how it had tracked down one of India’s most wanted fugitives in the British capital. The Telegraph posted a short video of its reporter confronting Nirav Modi, who’s accused of defrauding Punjab National Bank for more than Rs 13,000 crore before leaving India.
A visibly embarrassed Modi government on Saturday responded to the latest revelation on Nirav Modi by claiming that it had requested the British government last year for the extradition of Nirav Modi, also known as NiMo. A tweet by the government agency Enforce Directorate, read, “Request for Extradition of Nirav Modi to India was sent in July 2018 to UK. The UK Central Authority of Home Office has confirmed that the Extradition Request has been sent to the Westminster Magistrate Court for the District Judge for further proceedings.”
Request for Extradition of Nirav Modi to India was sent in July 2018 to UK. The UK Central Authority of Home Office has confirmed that the Extradition Request has been sent to the Westminster Magistrate Court for the District Judge for further proceedings.
— ED (@dir_ed) March 9, 2019
The ED tweet drew sharp flak for the Modi government as former Finance Minister P Chidambaram launched a tirade against the BJP for criticising the then UPA government for a similar request in the case another businessman Lalit Modi, who too has taken refuge in London and has been living in England for several years.
Chidambaram wrote, “When Lalit Modi stayed on in the UK, I wrote to the UK Chancellor that he should be sent back to India. Mrs Sushma Swaraj mocked me for writing letters.” His subsequent tweet read, “Now Nirav Modi is walking on the streets of London. Will Mrs Sushma Swaraj swoop down, pluck him off the street and bring him back to India?”
Now Nirav Modi is walking on the streets of London.
Will Mrs Sushma Swaraj swoop down, pluck him off the street and bring him back to India?
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) March 9, 2019
In the viral video, London’s The Telegraph reporter was seen confronting NiMo in the British capital and posed questions on his escape from India and how India was seeking his extradition. To every question fired by the The Telegraph newspaper, Modi either responded with silence or ‘sorry no comments’ replies.
All throughout the reporter’s confrontation, Modi tried to find a black cab for himself until he finally managed to get one.
Posting a short video of its reporter’s confrontation in the heart of London, The Telegraph had tweeted, “Exclusive: Telegraph journalists tracked down Nirav Modi, the billionaire diamond tycoon who is a suspect for the biggest banking fraud in India’s history.”
Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi fled India after being accused of defrauding the Punjab National Bank for thousands of crores of rupees in January last year. The news came as a huge embarrassment since Modi was posing with the Indian prime minister at the World Economic Forum days before the PNB scam broke. They are accused of misusing credit instruments and guarantees of Punjab National Bank by forging documents.