UK Home Secretary Priti Patel on Friday approved the extradition of fugitive diamond businessman Nirav Modi accused in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case. Modi is currently in prison in London since his arrest in March 2019 on charges of money laundering, conspiring to destroy evidence and intimidating witnesses.
"The UK Home Secretary has approved the extradition request of Nirav Modi," a CBI source related to the probe said. However, if Modi files an appeal, it may take some time to bring him back, they added.
A UK court had allowed the extradition of Modi on February 25, 2021, in the Rs 13,500 crore PNB scam case. Samuel Goozee, the District Judge at the Westminster Magistrates' Court, had accepted the prima facie evidence against Nirav Modi. The CBI, in a statement, had said that the UK court ruling is "a reminder that fugitives, who have eluded the process of law after commission of large value frauds, cannot consider themselves above the process merely because they have changed jurisdictions".
He is currently facing a probe by the CBI for a large-scale fraud of obtaining LoUs or loan agreements from PNB. The Enforcement Directorate is also probing him in a case relating to the laundering of the proceeds of that fraud.