Nirav Modi: Indian billionaire loses extradition appeal in UK court

The jeweller fled India before details of an alleged involvement in the country's biggest bank fraud became public in 2018

MUMBAI, INDIA - AUGUST 9: Luxury diamond jewellery designer and founder and creative director of the Nirav Modi chain of diamond jewellery retail stores Nirav Modi at his office in Lower Parel, on August 9, 2016 in Mumbai, India. (Photo by Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint via Getty Images)
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Fugitive billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, wanted by Indian authorities over a $2 billion loan fraudulently obtained from state-run Punjab National Bank, has lost his appeal in a UK court against extradition to India, Indian TV channels reported on Tuesday.

The jeweller fled India before details of his alleged involvement in the fraud, the country's biggest, became public in 2018.

Mr Modi denies any wrongdoing.

He is known as the jeweller to the stars for his work dressing celebrities from Bollywood to Hollywood, and was told in February he would have to return to stand trial in India, a move approved by British home secretary at the time, Priti Patel.

He had fled his homeland two years previously because of the police investigation into his dealings. Mr Modi is accused of defrauding Punjab National Bank, money laundering, witness intimidation and destroying evidence.

Mr Modi is one of several high-profile Indian businessmen being sought by Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, in an effort to tackle high-level crime. Three decades of extradition efforts have resulted in only three people being returned to face justice.

Born into a Belgium-based diamond trading family, Mr Modi opened his first luxury boutique in New Delhi in 2014 before embarking on a global expansion that included stores in London, Singapore and New York, where a glitzy launch event was attended by Donald Trump Jnr and his wife.

Updated: November 09, 2022, 1:28 PM