Billionaire diamond tycoon will be extradited to India to face trial over £1.3bn frauds after losing court fight to stay in UK
- Billionaire diamond tycoon Nirav Modi can be extradited to India a judge ruled
- Modi, 49, has bene held at Wandsworth prison since his arrest in March 2019
- The Westminster Magistrates Court ruling will be sent to Priti Patel for sign-off
A billionaire diamond tycoon can be extradited from Britain to India to face trial over an alleged £1.3billion fraud, a judge ruled yesterday.
Nirav Modi, 49, whose jewels have been worn on the Oscars red carpet by Kate Winslet, has been in Wandsworth prison, south-west London, since his arrest in March 2019.
His long battle against extradition was all but lost yesterday as District Judge Samuel Goozee said there was enough evidence for him to answer fraud allegations by the Punjab National Bank.
Nirav Modi, 49, (pictured) whose jewels have been worn on the Oscars red carpet by Kate Winslet, has been in Wandsworth prison, south-west London, since his arrest in March 2019
The ruling at Westminster Magistrates Court will now be sent to Home Secretary Priti Patel for sign-off.
Modi, who appeared via video from jail, was told he had 14 days to appeal.
Modi left India in early 2018 just before criminal charges were brought. He is also alleged to have concealed £630million of property, intimidated witnesses and perverted the course of justice.
His wealth was once calculated by Forbes magazine as £1.5billion and supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was the face of his global brand.
The ruling at Westminster Magistrates Court will now be sent to Home Secretary Priti Patel (pictured) for sign-off
The jeweller allegedly presided over a ‘Ponzi-like’ scheme involving bank guarantees which allow foreign transactions, called ‘letters of understanding’ (LOUs).
Acting on behalf of the Indian government, the Crown sought to establish there were no human rights blocking Modi’s extradition.
Modi’s lawyers argued that his deteriorating mental health met the threshold to block the extradition – the same defence that was recently used to stop the extradition of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
But district judge Samuel Goozee said he would send the case to the Home Secretary and Modi had the opportunity to appeal the decision should he wish.
‘I am satisfied that there is evidence upon which (Modi) could be convicted in relation to the conspiracy to defraud the (Punjab National Bank). A prima face case is established,’ he said in the judgment.