India seeks warrant for celebrity jeweller Nirav Modi

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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday approached the Interpol seeking a red corner notice against billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, who is at the centre of the over $2 billion PNB fraud case.

Nirav Modi, whose jewellery has been worn by Hollywood and Bollywood stars, is seeking political asylum in London following fraud allegations, the Financial Times has reported.

"A request has been sent to the Interpol", CBI official R. K. Gaur told AFP. Unequal standards: India and UK signed a mutual extradition treaty way back in 1993; but while India did extradite a UK national, Maninderpal Singh Kohli, in the Hannah Foster murder case in 2008, UK has been stonewalling all of India's extradition requests, including of British national Raymond Varley, who's accused of child abuse in Goa. Modi could not be reached for comment while Britain's Home Office told Reuters that it does not comment on individual cases.

Nirav Modi, the billionaire jeweller allegedly at the heart of a $US2.2 billion ($A2.9 billion) fraud case in India, is believed to have fled to the UK.

Nirav Modi, whose jewellery empire counted celebrities such as Naomi Watts and Kate Winslet among its clients, is accused of involvement in defrauding Punjab National Bank (PNB), India's second-largest state-run lender, of $1.8 billion (Dh6.6bn). Authorities say he diverted large sums of the loan money illegally to invest in foreign-based companies.

Several Indian courts have issued arrest warrants over his failure to appear before them since he fled.

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The PNB came to light as the Indian government tries to reduce crippling debts accumulated by state-run banks.

The Indian government is now seeking the extradition of liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya, who fled to Britain in 2016, over unpaid loans to his Kingfisher Airlines.

It recently announced a $32 billion recapitalization plan to help them clean up their books ahead of the general election in 2019.

The losses were largely a result of having to set aside funds to pay other banks for the illegal guarantees issued in the Nirav Modi scam.

India's PTI news agency quoted unnamed sources as saying that Williams confirmed in the meeting Modi's presence in Britain but that she had promised London's full cooperation.