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Indian fugitive celebrity jeweller arrested in London

/ 08:40 PM March 20, 2019

LONDON — Nirav Modi, India’s fugitive jeweller to the stars, has been arrested in London and faces an extradition hearing on Wednesday, police said.

Modi is accused of involvement in a massive bank fraud that rocked India’s corporate community.

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Modi, 48, owned luxury jewellery stores in several major cities across the world and boasted celebrity customers including actresses Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet, and Priyanka Chopra-Jonas before his downfall last year.

A spokesman for London’s Metropolitan Police told AFP that Modi was arrested on behalf of the Indian authorities in the British capital on Tuesday.

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He was due to appear at a London court on Wednesday, the spokesman said.

Modi fled India in February 2018 after being accused of having a central role in a $1.8-billion fraud involving Punjab National Bank (PNB), the country’s second-largest public lender.

Earlier this month, Indian authorities dynamited the fugitive billionaire’s multi-million-dollar seafront mansion.

The 33,000 square-foot (3,000 square metre) property near Mumbai, believed to be worth $14 million, had been seized.

Forbes estimated Modi’s wealth at $1.73 billion before the alleged fraud, placing him 85th on India’s rich list. /kga

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TAGS: bank, bank fraud, Britain, fraud, India, International news, jeweller, Modi, news, Nirav Modi, Punjab National Bank, world, world news
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