June 11, 2018 / 3:56 PM / 9 days ago

CBI asks Interpol to issue arrest notice for billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi: police source

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The Central Bureau of Investigation has asked Interpol to help locate and arrest billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, who is at the heart of a $2-billion-plus bank fraud case, a CBI source said on Monday.

Security guards stand inside a Nirav Modi showroom during a raid by the Enforcement Directorate, a government agency that fights financial crime, in New Delhi, India, February 15, 2018. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Files

The source said CBI had asked Interpol to issue a “red notice” arrest order.

The Financial Times reported on Sunday citing Indian and British officials that Modi, who police have charged in relation to India’s biggest banking fraud, had fled to the United Kingdom claiming political asylum.

Punjab National Bank, India’s second-largest state-run bank, said earlier in 2018 that two jewellery groups headed by Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi had defrauded it of about $2.2 billion by raising credit from other Indian banks using illegal guarantees issued by rogue PNB staff.

Modi and Choksi, who have both denied wrongdoing, left India before the details emerged and their whereabouts is unknown. Their passports have since been revoked.

CBI filed charges against more than 25 people in May including Modi, Choksi, former PNB chief Usha Ananthasubramanian, two of the bank’s executive directors and three companies belonging to Modi.

Reporting by Nigam Prusty and Malini Menon; Editing by Toby Chopra

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