UK court refuses bail to Nirav Modi

Source: PTI | Published on 30th March 2019, 1:12 PM | National News | Global News |

London: Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi was denied bail a second time today as a UK court ruled that there were “substantial grounds” to believe that he would fail to surrender and also noted that “very unusually in a fraud case” the accused had made death threats to witnesses.

At the end of the second bail application hearing at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London of the 48-year-old prime accused in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case, Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot ruled that the £1 million his legal team had offered as security for bail as well as the offer to meet stringent electronic tag restrictions on their client’s movements failed to convince her to grant bail. She set Modi’s next remand hearing for April 26 via videolink from jail.

“This is a case of substantial fraud, with loss to a bank in India of between $1-2 billion. I am not persuaded that the conditional bail sought will meet the concerns of the government of India in this case,” she noted.

The court was told that Modi’s son, who had been at school in London, had now left for higher studies in the US, which led the judge to conclude that Modi not only had a “lack of community ties” in the UK but also large resources at his disposal to try and flee the country.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), arguing on behalf of the Indian Government, flagged Modi’s attempt to acquire citizenship of Vanuatu, a remote island country in the South Pacific Ocean, in late 2017 as a sign of a man trying to evade justice.

Modi, meanwhile, can make a third bail application at the same court but only if the grounds for the bail plea were substantially different.

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