Fugitive Nirav Modi spotted in London, reportedly conducts business as usual

Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, who is wanted in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank fraud in India, is living in a luxurious apartment situated in London’s West End and running a diamond business, according to a report published in The Telegraph.

A video released by a UK-based newspaper on Saturday shows Modi, apparently sporting a jacket made from “Ostrich hide” which costs “at least £10,000” (over Rs 9 lakh), repeatedly answering “no comment” to every question posed by the reporter.

Modi is living in a “three-bedroom flat occupying half of a floor of the landmark Centre Point tower block, with views across London”, likely to be rented at around £17,000 (Rs 15 lakh), the report stated.

Citing highly placed sources in UK government, The Telegraph reported that Modi was provided with a ‘National Insurance Number’ by the Department for Work and Pension which allows him to operate online bank accounts in the country while still being on a wanted list in India. When asked, Modi replies: “No comment”.

Modi and his maternal uncle Mehul Choksi are being investigated by Indian investigating agencies after the PNB reported that it had been cheated of Rs 13,600 crore through fraudulent issue of letters LoUs and foreign letters of credit (FLCs).

The duo left India in January 2018, a few weeks before the scam was unearthed. While Modi is in the UK, Choksi has become a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda and is learnt to be residing there.

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