Billionaire Indian flees to UK, claiming political asylum

New Delhi

Nirav Modi, the billionaire jeweller at the heart of a more than $2 billion fraud case in India, has fled to the UK, where he is claiming political asylum, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing Indian and British officials.
Britain’s Home Office said it does not provide information on individual cases. Nirav Modi could not be contacted by Reuters for comment on the FT report.
Punjab National Bank, India’s second-largest state-run bank, said earlier in 2018 that two jewellery groups headed by Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi had defrauded it of about $2.2 billion by raising credit from overseas branches of other Indian banks using illegal guarantees issued by rogue PNB staff at a Mumbai branch over several years.
Nirav Modi is in London trying to claim asylum from what he calls “political persecution”, the FT reported.
India’s ministry of external affairs told the FT the Indian government was waiting for the country’s law enforcement agencies to approach them before pushing for an extradition, which had thus far not happened.
The ministry did not respond to a Reuters request for comment outside regular working hours. —Reuters

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