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No Bail for Nirav Modi, London Court Says Substantial Grounds to Believe He May Not Surrender

No Bail for Nirav Modi, London Court Says Substantial Grounds to Believe He May Not Surrender

The bail plea of fugitive businessman Nirav Modi, the main accused in the PNB scam case, was rejected by a London court on Wednesday.

The diamantaire was arrested by the Scotland Yard on Tuesday, and was produced before a District Judge at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London to be formally charged. Modi was picked up from a metro station Holborn, central London, said officers in the Enforcement Directorate, which is probing the case against him.

The 48-year-old had offered half-a-million pounds as the bail bond, but the magistrate turned it down "given the high value of funds and access to means to escape".

The judge said there were substantial grounds to believe he would fail to surrender if granted bail.

The London court had last week issued an arrest warrant against Modi in response to a request by the Enforcement Directorate for his extradition in a money laundering case.

The location of the arrest indicated that Modi, wanted in India in connection with the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank scam case, was arrested from where he is believed to have been living in a plush apartment in Centre Point in the West End.

He is believed to have arrived in London last year and was able to travel in and out of Britain at least four times since his passport was cancelled by the Indian authorities in February 2018.

During some of his stay in London he was reportedly also living in the heart of the city above his jewellery boutique called Nirav Modi on Old Bond Street, which has since closed down.

Modi is now believed to be running a new business, which describes itself on the UK's Companies House register as a wholesale trader in watches and jewellery and a retailer of watches and jewellery in specialised stores.

Modi and his uncle, Mehul Choksi, are the main accused in the PNB scam and they both left India before the details of the fraud came to light in January 2018.

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