India To Push For Nirav Modi’s Extradition With Britain Confirming Him To Be There


New Delhi: The UK has confirmed presence of fugitive Nirav Modi within its territory, leading India to push for his extradition amid fears that the diamond trader wanted for the PNB bank fraud might seek political asylum.

India’s junior minister for home, Kiren Rijiju, is learnt to have asked for “smooth and early” extradition of the alleged fraudster during his meeting on Monday with Baroness Williams, UK minister of state for countering terrorism.

Sources in Delhi said the UK delegation confirmed the presence of Nirav Modi, whose whereabouts have been the subject of conflicting speculation, as well as that Williams offered UK’s cooperation in India’s efforts to extradite the disgraced diamond trader as well as other fugitives like liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya who are ensconced in UK.

"I had a very useful meeting with UK Minister Baroness Williams. We discussed about India-UK joint efforts to deal with terrorism and extremism. We also agreed to cooperate in the matters of extradition and sharing of information,” Rijiju told reporters after the hour-long meeting.

India’s attempt to get hold of the fugitive diamond trader, who is at the centre of Rs 13,000 crore Punjab National Bank fraud, came amid unconfirmed reports that he might seek political asylum in UK.

Though UK has often hosted individuals who take shelter here to avoid prosecution in their own countries, granting asylum to Nirav Modi could create a diplomatic rift between the UK and India, a top Indian official said. BJP and the opposition have sparred over the fraud involving Nirav as also the fact that he left the country just when bank officials were beginning to get wiser about having been taken for a ride.

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