Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, accused in the Rs 14,600 crore state-controlled- Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam was arrested in London today and will be produced in the court shortly.
Earlier, London court had issued an arrest warrant against Modi, the main accused in the PNB scam case, in response to a request by the
Enforcement Directorate for his extradition in a money laundering case.
"Nirav Deepak Modi, 48 (Date of Birth 24.02.71), was arrested on behalf of the Indian Authorities on Tuesday, 19 March, in Holborn," the Metropolitan Police said in a statement. "He will appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, 20 March," the statement added.
Watch: CNBC-TV18 tracks down Nirav Modi at Oxford Street in London
48-year old Modi was recently spotted in a tony neighbourhood of London wearing a 10,000 Pound Ostrich hide jacket by the London-based newspaper The Telegraph. On Tuesday also, several Indian channels spotted him in the area.
After fleeing from the country in the first week of January last year, he was seen in a Press Information Bureau group photograph of CEOs and top brass of Indian corporate sector with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Davos, Switzerland, in January 2018.
The CBI registered an FIR against him on January 31 on the basis of the complaint against him and his uncle Mehul Choksi from the bank. It was followed by another FIR by the agency against him.
Modi's brother and wife were also named as accused in the FIR. His wife Ami, a US citizen, brother Nishal, a Belgian, and uncle Choksi, Gitanjali group's promoter, had also fled the country in the first week of January.
The case pertains to allegedly cheating the state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB) through fraudulent issuance of Letters of Undertakings (LoUs) and Foreign Letters of Credit (FLCs).
The agency has chargesheeted both Modi and Choksi separately in the alleged scam.
The CBI, in its charge sheets filed on May 14, had alleged that Nirav Modi, through his companies, siphoned off funds to the tune of Rs 6,498.20 crore using fraudulent LoUs issued from PNB's Brady House branch in Mumbai.
Choksi allegedly swindled Rs 7080.86 crore, making it possibly the biggest banking scam in the country, it alleged.
It is alleged that Modi and Choksi through their companies availed of credit from overseas branches of Indian banks using fraudulent guarantees of the PNB given through LoUs and letters of credit which were not repaid, bringing the liability on the state-run bank, the officials said.
An LoU is a guarantee given by an issuing bank to Indian banks having branches abroad to grant short-term credit to the applicant.
The instructions for transferring the funds were allegedly issued by a bank employee, Gokulnath Shetty, using an international messaging system for banking called SWIFT platform and without making their subsequent entries in the PNB's internal banking software, thus bypassing scrutiny in the bank, they said.
(With inputs from PTI)