New Delhi: In a big set back to Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud main accused Nirav Modi, the Swiss authorities have frozen bank accounts of the fugitive diamond merchant and his sister Purvi Modi having deposits of $37.42 million (Rs 283.16 crore) in four accounts.
Following requests from the Enforcement Directorate under the PMLA Act, the Swiss authorities have frozen these accounts. The request was made on the ground that money was deposited in these bank accounts are out of illegal siphoned off funds from Indian banks and the same has represented proceeds of crime.
Nirav Modi is set to appear via videolink from prison for a routine remand hearing before Westminster Magistrates' Court in London today (June 27). The 48-year-old will be appearing for the first time since his bail appeal was rejected by the UK High Court earlier this month, his fourth attempt at bail.
In her judgment handed down at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Justice Ingrid Simler concluded there were "substantial grounds" to believe that Modi would fail to surrender as he does possess the means to abscond. Reiterating similar concerns as those previously raised by Westminster Magistrates' Court during earlier bail attempts, Judge Simler ruled that after considering all the material "carefully", she had found strong evidence to suggest there had been interference with witnesses and destruction of evidence in the case and concluded it can still occur.
Modi was arrested by uniformed Scotland Yard officers on an extradition warrant on March 19 and has been in prison since. During subsequent hearings, Westminster Magistrates' Court was told that Modi was the "principal beneficiary" of the fraudulent issuance of letters of undertaking (LoUs) as part of a conspiracy to defraud PNB and then laundering the proceeds of crime. Under UK law, Modi is expected to be produced before the court every four weeks, with another remand hearing expected before the July 29 case management hearing currently fixed in the court's calendar.