Denied bail, Nirav Modi spends Holi in prison

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It was a dull Holi for fugitive diamondtaire Nirav Modi. He was kept in overcrowded Prison Wandsworth in south-west London after a court rejected his bail application, terming him a flight risk, a day later he was arrested from a bank.

The court remanded him to custody till March 29. Modi had appeared in the Westminster magistrates’ court  after spending a night in a police cell after his arrest on charges of conspiracy to commit fraud and to conceal criminal property. 

District judge Marie Mallon remanded him in custody till March 29, when he will appear for a preliminary hearing before chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot, the same judge who oversaw the Vijay Mallya trial. The arrest clears the way for India to start its effort to get the fugitive diamantaire back home and face the law.

Nirav Modi was arrested on Tuesday when a teller at Metro Bank in London, where he had gone to open an account, called the police. The arrest was made five days before schedule: his lawyers had arranged for him to be arrested in less dramatic fashion at a police station on Monday, March 25. Interestingly, he has hired the same lawyer as Vijaya Mallya.

“We welcome the fact that Nirav Modi has been arrested by the United Kingdom authorities pursuant to the arrest warrant issued by the Westminster Magistrates’ Court,” said a spokesperson of India’s external affairs ministry. “Government of India continues to actively follow up this matter with the authorities concerned in the UK, with a view to have Nirav Modi extradited to India at the earliest.” 

India is also pursuing extradition proceedings against Modi’s uncle and co-accused Mehul Choksi, who is believed to be in Antigua at present. 

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