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Report: Nirav Modi Located in the UK
The New York Times reports that India’s Central Bureau of Investigation is seeking extradition of the diamantaire wanted for allegedly cheating a bank out of billions.
New York—Nirav Modi, the Indian jeweler wanted for allegedly cheating a state-run bank out of nearly $2 billion, has been located and Indian authorities are seeking his extradition, The New York Times reports.
The Times published a story Monday quoting a spokesman for India’s Central Bureau of Investigation as saying that Interpol told the CBI that Modi is in the U.K. The bureau is “moving for his extradition,” the spokesman said.
Interpol, the international police organization, has a red notice out on Modi, which is the alert used to signify that an individual needs to be located and arrested pending extradition.
Neither the CBI nor Interpol responded to National Jeweler’s request for an update by press time.
Born into a family of diamond merchants in Antwerp, Modi ventured out on his own, dealing in loose diamonds before expanding into manufacturing jewelry and then launching his own brand.
Eventually, he began opening upscale boutiques around the world stocked with dazzling pieces from his eponymous line, including on Madison Avenue in New York, the Ala Moana Center in Honolulu and the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas.
Modi’s designs also received plenty of red-carpet play. In what was perhaps his brand’s last splashy Hollywood appearance, “The Handmaid’s Tale” star Yvonne Strahovski donned Nirav Modi diamond earrings and ring at the SAG Awards on Jan. 21.
About a week after that red carpet turn, the 47-year-old diamantaire’s empire began to unravel.
On Jan. 29, the CBI registered a case against Modi, his brother Neeshal and his uncle, Gitanjali Gems Managing Director Mehul Choksi, accusing them of colluding with employees of Punjab National Bank to swindle the second-largest state-owned financial institution out of about $1.8 billion.
Both Nirav Modi and Choksi have denied any wrongdoing through their attorneys.
Since the case came to light in January, the CBI has been on the hunt for both Modi and Choksi, with reports placing the former everywhere from Hong Kong to St. Kitts to New York to London.
Along with Modi, there’s Winsome Diamonds’ Jatin Mehta, whom the CBI reportedly charged with bank fraud in June
In the diamond industry, the alleged fraud perpetrated on Punjab National Bank put further strain on an industry already struggling with financing and forced four U.S.-based companies to file for bankruptcy: A. Jaffe—which has since been sold—Firestar Diamond, Fantasy Inc. and, most recently, Samuels Jewelers, the 120-store jewelry chain owned by Choksi that filed for Chapter 11 earlier this month.
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