India said on Saturday it was waiting for Britain to respond to its request to extradite fugitive billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, after London's Telegraph newspaper reported that he was living in an upscale apartment in London. According to a report by the Times of India, top sources revealed that Nirav Modi had allegedly undergone plastic surgery in London in order to escape extradition.
"Kumar said that the ministry has been aware of his presence in the United Kingdom and the extradition request is under the consideration of the United Kingdom government".
The government can not extradite Nirav Modi just because he has been spotted in London, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson, Raveesh Kumar, told ANI in an interview.
The opposition party also alleged that fugitives had looted Rs 1 lakh crore from Indian banks but not even one of them has been caught in five years of the Modi government. Nirav Modi is on run as he is wanted by agencies in India in Rs 13,000 fraud case.
Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, who are wanted in India for loan default, fled the country in the first week of January previous year after their companies were found cheating the state-run PNB of Rs 14,000 crore. As soon as he is caught, a joint team of CBI and ED is likely to send a team to London to assist in the extradition trial.
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Modi, 48, is now living in a three-bedroom flat occupying half of a floor of the landmark Centre Point tower block, where rent is estimated to cost 17,000 pounds a month, The Telegraph reported. "The business, which was incorporated last May, is linked to his flat in Centre Point although he is not listed as a director at Companies House", the report said.
"Yet The Telegraph can disclose that Modi is now involved in a new diamond business run from an office in Soho, just a few hundred yards from his new apartment". He has also been in contact with a wealth management company based in west London, which specialises in advice to rich foreigners.
Hitting out at the government, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a video message, "Today, the fugitive diamantaire "chota Modi" Nirav Modi has been traced to London - living a luxurious life in a Rs 75 crore flat and wearing a jacket worth 10,000 British Pound".
Sporting a pink shirt and a black "ostrich leather" jacket, Nirav Modi refused to comment on a host of questions posed by a reporter from The Telegraph.