Priti Patel approves extradition of billionaire diamond tycoon Nirav Modi to India to face trial over £1.3bn fraud
- Diamond tycoon Nirav Modi will be extradited to India after Home Office sign-off
- Modi, 50, was arrested in March 2019, and has been held in Wandsworth prison
- Punjab National Bank alleges that he and his uncle have committed fraud
Nirav Modi, 50, whose jewels have adorned Hollywood stars such as Dakota Johnson and Kate Winslet, fled India before details of his alleged involvement in the country’s biggest bank fraud became public in 2018.
Punjab National Bank alleges that two jewellery groups headed by Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi had committed fraud by raising credit from other Indian banks using illegal guarantees.
Both men have denied wrongdoing.
Nirav Modi, 49, (pictured) whose jewels have been worn on the Oscars red carpet by Kate Winslet, has been in Wandsworth prison, south-west London, since his arrest in March 2019
New Delhi has been working since 2018 to extradite Modi back to the country to face charges for the $2.2million fraud, which has dented confident in the state banking sector.
Modi, whose wealth was once calculated by Forbes magazine as £1.5billion, was arrested in the UK in March 2019, and detained in Wandsworth prison, south-west London.
He now has 14 days to appeal to a higher court in Britain against the decisions of the district court and Home Office.
Zulfiquar Memon of Indian law firm MZM Legal, which is representing Modi in his case said the team is in the process of challenging the order.
He added that this ‘may happen anytime soon.’
A spokesperson for the Home Office confirmed in a statement on Friday that the extradition order was signed on April 15.
The ruling at Westminster Magistrates Court has been signed off by Home Secretary Priti Patel (pictured)
India’s Ministry of External Affairs has yet to comment on the order.
Vijay Mallya, another fugitive Indian business tycoon, was ordered to be extradited by the Home Office in 2019, but has since appealed and continues to fight his case in London.