Nirav Modi is the target of two separate sets of criminal proceedings, the CBI case involving significant fraud against PNB and the ED case involving the laundering of the scam’s proceeds.

On November 9, the High Court in London issued a warrant for the extradition of diamond trader Nirav Modi to India so that he may answer to accusations of fraud and money laundering in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan scam case, which are alleged to have totaled $2 billion.

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Who is Nirav Modi?

Nirav Deepak Modi is an Indian businessman born on February 27, 1971. 

He is a fugitive who was accused of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, theft, and dishonesty, including the delivery of property, corruption, money laundering, fraud, embezzlement, and violation of the contract by Interpol and the Indian government in August 2018. 

Modi is under investigation in connection with the $2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case. Modi filed for bankruptcy in Manhattan, New York, in March 2018. Modi was purportedly in the UK in June 2018 when he allegedly asked for political asylum. The assets and a total of US$6 million that were in Nirav Modi’s Swiss bank accounts were frozen by Swiss authorities in June 2019.

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Although Nirav Modi was born in Palanpur, Gujarat, he was raised in Antwerp, Belgium. For many generations, his ancestors have operated in the diamond business. When he was 19 years old, he and his father, Deepak Modi, moved to Mumbai so that he could work for his uncle, Mehul Choksi, the CEO of the Gitanjali Group, an Indian jeweller with 4,000 stores.

Modi went to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School but dropped out before graduating. He met his future wife Ami, the daughter of diamond tycoon Amukuraj Choksey, while he was a student.

Modi and his wife have three children – two daughters and one son. The family had been reportedly living in a JW Marriott Essex House suite in New York City after fleeing India.

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Modi was sued by the Union Bank of India in a Hong Kong court. In a petition submitted to the High Court on September 26, 2018, Union Bank asserted that Modi had guaranteed two loans given to Firestone Trading Private and Firestar Diamond on October 21 and November 15, 2011, respectively. He had to pay the bank more than $5.49 million plus interest after it was claimed that both businesses had missed payments.

68 pieces from Modi’s collection of art were sold in March 2019 on behalf of India’s income tax authority. The artwork brought in £5.3 million, including a £2.6 million sale for a Vasudeo S. Gaitonde painting. After its value is established, the renowned music store Rhythm House in Kala Ghoda, Mumbai, is scheduled to be auctioned. Nirav Modi purchased it in 2017.