New Delhi: With billionaire Nirav Modi, wanted in the Rs 13,500 crore PNB fraud case, tracked down to London, the Congress on Saturday slammed the Centre for its “failure” to bring back the fugitive diamantaire to justice while he apparently thrived elsewhere.
The opposition’s attack came soon after the UK’s The Telegraph newspaper claimed that Nirav Modi has been spotted in London. Hitting out at the government, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a video message, “Today, the fugitive diamantaire ‘chota Modi’ Nirav Modi has been traced to London — living a luxurious life in a Rs 75 crore flat and wearing a jacket worth 10,000 British Pound.”
“It is right Modiji (Narendra Modi), first rob Rs 23,000 crore from the banks; escape the country without any problem and then ridicule the investigative agencies like the CBI and the ED. “Impossible is possible under Modi. It seems that Modiji is running Bank Fraudster Settlement Company. In five years Rs 1 lakh crore has been robbed by the fugitives and you were unable to catch them.
“You promised to bring back Rs 80,000 crore black money but instead you allowed Rs 1 lakh crore to be robbed from the banks. It is because Modi hai to mumkin hai (Impossible is possible, under Modi),” he said. Earlier, the video released by The Telegraph newspaper showed Nirav Modi walking the London streets. He wore a changed look — with handle bar moustache and long hair.
He is seen avoiding every question posed at him by the reporter, saying “no comment”. The Indian intelligence agencies had already provided inputs about this new disguise of the fugitive billionaire. The newspaper report also stated that Nirav Modi against whom a Red Corner Notice has been issued by the Interpol, has been living in the city’s West End area and has even started a new diamond business.
An extradition request against Nirav Modi has been pending since last September before the UK authorities. On February 26, the Enforcement Directorate attached properties of Nirav Modi and his associate companies to the tune of Rs 147 crore in connection with its ongoing Punjab National Bank fraud probe. Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are under probe by both the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ED. The ED filed money laundering cases against them and others on February 15 on the basis of an FIR registered by the CBI. The ED has till date attached properties worth Rs 4,765 crore of Choksi and Nirav Modi.