NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 08: (L-R) Naomi Watts, Nirav Modi and Deborra-Lee Furness attend the Nirav Modi U.S. Boutique grand opening at Nirav Modi Boutique on September 8, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Indian authorities have called on Britain for help in extraditing billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, who is allegedly at the centre of a £1.3 billion bank fraud, it was claimed in a Sky News report today.

Modi and his uncle, Mehul Choski, are accused of illegally diverting loans from India’s second largest state-run lender, the Punjab National Bank, to foreign-based companies.

India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) launched a global manhunt for the 47-year-old (pictured above with Naomi Watts and Deborra-Lee Furness at the opening of his New York boutique in 2015) earlier this year and think they have tracked him down to the UK.

Advertisement

Sky said in its report that a spokesperson for the bureau had told news agency AFP: “We received confirmation from Britain through our Interpol channels that Nirav Modi was seen there.”

Last February, investigators seized more than half a dozen luxury cars from the billionaire and his companies, along with around £625,000 worth of jewellery, gold, diamonds, precious metals and stones, according to the report.

Modi is understood to be one of the richest men in India and his celebrity customers, are thought to include Priyanka Chopra, Naomi Watts and Kate Winslet.

Mr Modi’s lawyer and Mr Choksi’s firm, Gitanjali Gems, have both previously denied any involvement in what Sky said has been called India’s biggest ever banking scam.