New Delhi: The MEA on Thursday said that it is still awaiting a response from authorities in Hong Kong on the request for extradition made for billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi – an accused in the multi-crore PNB bank scam.
Raveesh Kumar, the official spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, has said that a formal request for Modi’s arrest and extradition has already been made and a reply from Hong Kong is now awaited. “We are aware of the written reply submitted to Parliament which shared that Nirav Modi is in Hong Kong. We have requested Hongkong authorities to surrender Nirav Modi. We are still awaiting a response,” he said during a press conference, adding that there is an agreement between India and Hong Kong for surrender of fugitive offenders.
Kumar also said that there has been no information provided about Modi or his arrest by authorities in Hong Kong.
Earlier this week, Chinese authorities had said that basic and relevant laws under the relevant judicial agreements with India would be followed. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang had said, “the ministry has sought the provisional arrest of Nirav Deepak Modi by the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), the People’s Republic of China. According to the one country two systems and basic law of the HKSAR, under the assistance and authorisation of the central government, the HKSAR can make proper arrangement on judicial mutual assistance with other countries. If India makes relevant request to the HKSAR, we believe the HKSAR will follow the basic law and relevant laws and under relevant judicial agreements with India with the relevant issue”.
A provisional arrest is made pending a formal extradition request.
Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are wanted in connection with the multi-million Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud. In February 2018, it had emerged that the fraudulently issued Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) from the Mumbai branch of PNB in favour of Hong Kong branches of Allahabad Bank and Axis Bank. These letters helped facilitate Rs 280.7 crore fraud by jewellery designer Nirav Modi among others.