Nirav Modi denied bail for fourth time in UK

London: Fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi was denied bail by a UK court on Wednesday for the fourth time in his extradition case to India to face charges in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money laundering case .

Pronouncing the order, Justice Ingrid Simler at the Royal Courts of Justice said there are “substantial grounds” to believe that the 48-year-old would fail to surrender as he does possess the means to “abscond”.

The judge said, “Compelling evidence that applicant and those acting on his behalf have acted to influence witnesses. There is evidence of destruction of evidence. Interference and obstruction may occur,”

Nirav Modi has already been denied bail at three previous attempts at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London, as the judge ruled there was substantial risk that he would fail to surrender and deemed the bail security offered as insufficient.

Modi, who was arrested by Scotland Yard officers on an extradition warrant from a Metro Bank branch in central London on March 19, remains in custody at Wandsworth prison.

Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are the prime accused in the PNB scam that involved fake guarantees in the name of the state-run lender to secure loans overseas. Both left India in January 2018 before the CBI started investigating the multi-crore PNB scam.

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