Interpol on Monday issued an arrest warrant for India’s billionaire diamond merchant Nirav Modi, tightening the noose on one of the main suspects in a $1.8-billion fraud at a major state-run bank.
Modi, thought to be in London, is a jeweller to the stars whose celebrity clients have included Naomi Watts and Kate Winslet. His eponymous high-end brand has stores in several of the world’s major cities.
India last month requested Interpol to issue a so-called red corner notice to help trace Modi after the fugitive diamond merchant was last spotted in Britain.
A red corner notice seeks the arrest or provisional arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition.
Modi, 47, is accused of being at the centre of a $1.8-billion fraud involving India’s second largest public lender, the Punjab National Bank (PNB).
The diamond merchant is worth $1.73 billion and is placed 85th on India’s rich list, according to Forbes. His lawyer has denied all the charges.
His escape has caused a massive public outcry, with opposition parties accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi — no relation — of helping him flee.