Indian billionaire Nirav Modi loses UK extradition appeal


London
CNN

A London court on Wednesday rejected an appeal by Indian billionaire Nirav Modi against his extradition from Britain to India to face charges of fraud and money laundering.

British police arrested the diamond dealer in 2019 in London for his alleged involvement in a bank fraud that could be worth $2 billion.

Last year, Modi’s lawyers challenged a court order allowing the British government to extradite the fugitive businessman, citing his mental health and risk of suicide.

The High Court in London dismissed the appeal on Wednesday, saying Modi’s suicide risk does not rule out his extradition.

Judge Jeremy Stuart-Smith, one of the two judges, said they were “far from satisfied that Mr Modi’s mental condition and risk of suicide are such that it would be unjust or oppressive to extradite him”, according to the court ruling . .

“Based on the assurances given (by the Government of India), we accept that there will be adequate medical provision and an adequate plan for the management and medical care of Mr. Modi, which will be provided knowing that he is a risk of suicide,” the judges said.

Modi’s alleged fraud first came to light in 2018 when Punjab National Bank, one of India’s largest banks, reported fraudulent activity at one of its branches.

India then issued an Interpol Red Notice for Modi’s arrest and authorities in London were asked to execute it. India’s foreign ministry said in a statement at the time that it welcomed the arrest and would seek to extradite Modi as soon as possible.

Modi and bank officials allegedly issued fraudulent letters of undertaking to foreign banks to obtain credit from the buyer, according to India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Forbes ranked Modi as the 85th richest man in India, with a net worth of $1.8 billion.

CNN has reached out to his lawyer after the court’s decision Wednesday, but has not yet heard back.

Modi, who remains in London’s Wandsworth prison, may challenge Wednesday’s court decision at the UK Supreme Court.

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