UK court to provide decision on Nirav Modi extradition on Feb25
The decision of the extradition case of fugitive diamond dealer Nirav Modi will be handed down by the UK judge next month after the Indian government and Modi’s defence attorneys made their last submissions at Westminster Magistrate’s Court in London on Friday.
Judge Samuel Goozee will provide his judgment on February 25, simply under two years after Nirav Modi was detained in London on multiple charges including defrauding the state-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) of more than USD 2 billion.
Judge Goozee must decide if there is a ‘prima facie’ case that Modi – the one-time billionaire and jeweller to a few of the most glamorous stars on the planet – not only defrauded PNB but likewise laundered the proceeds of that fraud and consequently attempt to destroy vital proof and intimidate witnesses.
Yesterday on the penultimate day of the hearing, Modi’s legal representatives have claimed that he is unfit to deal with holding cell.
Today’s attention turned to the extraordinary scheme wherein Modi is declared to have committed to defraud and enhance himself and his family using the funds of one of the earliest and greatest financial institutions in India.
Helen Malcolm QC, the formidable barrister representing the Crown Prosecution Service, which in turn is representing the Indian government began the final day’ s proceedings by carefully summarizing that extremely plan.
It was a summary that plainly made Modi noticeably unpleasant – usually subdued, Modi was seen sighing and fidgeting often as he appeared at the court by means of video link from Wandsworth Prison in south London where he has actually been held because his arrest.
At the heart of the scheme is a conspiracy between Modi and numerous members of personnel at PNB to siphon cash out of the bank utilizing ‘Letters of Undertaking’, a bank assurance which permits a bank’s consumers to raise cash from the foreign branches of other Indian banks as a type of brief term credit.
Malcolm laid out how Modi set up a string of shell business positioning as 3rd party providers in Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates and after that conspired with a PNB worker – Gokulnath Shetty – to obtain numerous LOU’ s over a 6-year duration.
Malcolm told the court that the alleged scams had actually enhanced Modi and his family. One of the shell business – Pacific Diamonds – had at one point paid out USD 48 million dollars to Modi himself, some USD 150 million to his father and a more USD 21 million to his brother in law Deepak.
” The easy and stark fact is that Modi used three partnership business to obtain billions of dollars worth of credit which was entirely unsecured and LoUs were issued for wholly phony trade. While the defence declares this is a mere business conflict, there is a variety of evidence to point to a ponzi-like plan where brand-new LoUs were used to pay back old ones,” Malcolm stated.
Modi prepared and took various actions to make sure that the scams would go unnoticed for instance by registering the shell business in the UAE’ s Ajman Free Zone which does not need business to submit audited accounts.
The funds fraudulently obtained were also recycled through numerous other companies found in Hong Kong, India and the UAE utilizing the really same jewellery that had made Modi a worldwide recognized Diamantaire.
Once the scams was found at PNB, Modi and a variety of accomplices scrambled to hide their tracks, Malcolm said, by perverting the course of the examinations launched by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate.
This included moving a variety of “directors” of the shell companies from the UAE to Cairo Egypt in 2018 where they were threatened and coerced into supplying witness statements exonerated Modi.
The court was informed that this particular effort was led by Modi’s sibling Nihal Modi, an effort that ultimately emerged after one of those by force apprehended in Cairo tape-recorded some of the conversations in between himself and Nihal Modi.
One of the most explosive moments of the trial had actually been available in early 2020 when the court was played some of those recordings. Malcolm likewise told of the elaborate actions taken by Modi, his associates and several employees of the PNB in order to avoid detection – consisting of falsifying documents and developing sophisticated but eventually fictitious paper trails for the LOU’s.
In response to Modi’s defence group contends that the transactions, including the issuance of LOU’ s on “spoken” agreements in between Modi and the bank, were completely genuine and above board.
Clare Montgomery QC, Modi’s lawyer, also informed the court that the so-called shell companies were no such thing and were trading property. The court had actually previously been revealed files that recommended they did. Perhaps the most extraordinary moment of the last day of this extraordinary trial came when Montgomery told Judge Goozee that what taken place in Cairo, Egypt did not amount to “witness intimidation” due to the fact that they were not witnesses but rather “suspects”.
She told the court that Modi and or his agents were “perfectly able and had a right to offer them advice as co-accused” in the investigations introduced by the Indian government.
Apart from charges relating to defrauding PNB through using deceitful loan agreements to the tune of USD 2 billion, Modi also faces charges of cash laundering, damage of evidence and witness intimidation.
While Judge Goozee will rule on the February 25, Modi is expected to pursue a long and extensive appeals procedure in the UK.
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( the headline, this story has not been published by Essential India News staff and is published from a syndicated feed.).