Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Business | By Kate Woods

Why UK is the preferred refuge of Indian scamsters

Why UK is the preferred refuge of Indian scamsters

The UK may link the extradition process of fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi and liquor baron Vijay Mallya with the signing of a much-delayed agreement that will facilitate deportation of over 75,000 Indians who are allegedly illegally staying there, the officials said.

Modi is in London trying to claim asylum from what he calls "political persecution", the Financial Times has reported, citing Indian and British officials. The "CBI has no confirmation yet about Nirav Modi's whereabouts", an official said.

In fact, India's only successful extradition request so far was made in 2016, when Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel, an accused in the 2002 Gujarat riots, was extradited from the UK.

A spokesman for Britain's Home Office said: "We do not comment on individual cases".

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His high-end eponymous brand has stores in several of the world's major cities and boasts celebrity customers including actresses Naomi Watts and Kate Winslet and Bollywood megastar Priyanka Chopra.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is probing the bank fraud case involving Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi and filed a First Information Report (FIR) against them.

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Modi, the third generation of his family to go into the diamond trade, is worth $1.73 billion according to Forbes, placing him 85th on India's rich list.

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The PNB came to light as the Indian government tries to reduce crippling debts accumulated by state-run banks.

India is already seeking the extradition of Vijay Mallya, a liquor and aviation tycoon, over unpaid loans to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines after the businessman and co-owner of the Force India Formula One team moved to Britain in March past year.

It recently announced a $32-billion recapitalisation plan to help them clean up their books ahead of the general election in 2019.

The confirmation of Modi being in the United Kingdom came during a meeting Minister of State for Home Affairs Kirren Rijiju with British Minister of State for Countering Extremism Baroness Williams in New Delhi.

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India's PTI news agency quoted unnamed sources as saying that Williams confirmed in the meeting Modi's presence in Britain but that she had promised London's full cooperation.

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