PMLA Court declares Nirav Modi 'Fugitive Economic Offender'
A Prevention of Money Laundering Act Court named accused jeweller Nirav Modi a “Fugitive Economic Offender” on December 5, making him the second Indian ever to be titled as such, under the new act.
As Nirav Modi remains in UK judicial custody in Wandsworth Prison and awaits his extradition trial in May 2020, a PMLA court has officially labelled him a Fugitive Economic Offender, TNN reported.
Labelling Modi a Fugitive Economic Offender will expedite the process of confiscating his possessions as part of the fraud case. He is the second Indian person to be named so, after liquor baron Vijay Mallya.
Modi is accused of playing a major role in the over Rs 13,000 crore ($2 billion) fraud at the Punjab National Bank through his eponymous fine jewellery business. Modi has remained in UK jail following his arrest in London in March, where he has been denied bail multiple times due his lack of ties to the UK and alleged intimidation of witnesses in the case.
Indian authorities are also attempting to name Modi’s uncle and fellow accused in the PNB fraud case, Mehul Choksi, as a Fugitive Economic Offender.
Believed to be residing in Antigua, where he has taken citizenship, Choksi has deployed his lawyers in India to fight against the motion, claiming that he is innocent in the scandal.
Indian authorities are attempting to extradite Choksi to India to stand trial for fraud, which is proving to be a lengthy process as Choksi gave up his Indian citizenship.
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