Celebrity jeweller Nirav Modi has been refused bail and must stay in London until March 29 following his arrest in the capital yesterday.
Metropolitan Police arrested the billionaire jeweller on behalf of the Indian authorities after being linked to a $2 billion fraud reported by the Punjab National Bank.
Modi appeared in Westminster Magistrates’ Court yesterday and was denied bail, with District Judge Marie Mallon citing sufficient grounds to believe he would fail to surrender if granted release, despite his defence offering the court assurances including £500,000 as security.
The judge said that she wasn’t inclined to give Modi bail because of the “high value amount” involved in the allegations against him.
Modi is now due to appear before Emma Arbuthnot, the Chief Magistrate of Westminster Magistrates Court, on March 29 in an initial case management hearing.
Modi left India in early 2018, and has not returned since. He has been seeking asylum in the UK when he was caught up in the investigation last year.
According to The Telegraph, who tracked him down at the beginning of the month, the diamond trader has been living in a £8m apartment in London’s West End, with the newspaper claiming he has been running a new diamond business in Soho, just a few hundred years from his UK home.
India had asked Britain back in August to extradite Modi, one of the main suspects charged in the $2 billion (£1.5bn) loan fraud at state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB).
India’s authorities have frozen his businesses bank accounts while a string of boutiques – including a flagship store in Old Bond Street – have been shut down.