Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi had communicated to Enforcement Directorate (ED) through email that he cannot return to India citing security threat to his life.
Nirav Modi, accused in the Rs 13,600-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, has written to the ED via mail that he cannot return to India as his former employees who have not been paid salaries, landlords who have not been paid rents, customers whose jewelry has been confiscated by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and other agencies and several other people have threatened him.
Nirav Modi, whose whereabouts are still not known, said people have burnt his effigies and the mob-lynching incidents in India have prevented him from returning.
Earlier in July this year, Gitanjali Gems chairman Mehul Choksi, Modi’s uncle who is also one of the main accused in the PNB scam, had also cited “lynching” trend in India as one of the main reason that he cannot return to India.
“There have been various cases of mob lynching in India. This recent trend of mob lynching and general public giving justice on the road is growing. Even the applicant faces a similar threat as there are several persons who have grievances and anger against him (Mr Choksi),” an application filed in the Mumbai anti-corruption court said.
The Enforcement Directorate had registered a money-laundering case against Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and others on February 15, 2018, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 on the basis of an FIR registered by the CBI.
Nirav Modi, along with his associates, has been accused of cheating Punjab National Bank in connivance with certain bank officials by fraudulently getting letters of understanding without following the prescribed procedure and causing a wrongful loss to the bank.
Nirav Modi was last located in London and an Indian extradition request is pending before the UK authorities since September.