In shocking news, Nirav Modi who is the main accused in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank scam threatened to kill a witness and he offered a bribe to another person, UK prosecutor told the Westminster Magistrates Court on Friday.
Toby Cadman, appearing for the Crown Prosecution Service on the interest of Indian authorities alleged that proof related to the case was destroyed on behalf of Nirav Modi’s orders.
“Given the scale of fraud and significant assets, a bail is opposed. He could influence witnesses if released on bail,” the prosecutor told the London court while opposing his bail plea.
The prosecutor said, adding that Nirav Modi had an “overwhelming desire to flee.” He has diamonds, gold and pearls of substantial value,” he said.
The case is being heard by Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot, who is the same judge who had ordered the extradition of former Kingfisher Airlines boss Vijay Mallya in December last year. Before the hearing began, the prosecution submitted additional evidence against Nirav Modi.
The 48-year-old Nirav Modi was denied bail by District Judge Marie Mallon during his first hearing soon after his arrest by Scotland Yard officers from a central London bank branch as he attempted to open a new bank account. Then he has been in custody at the HMP Wandsworth prison in south-west London since last Wednesday.
During his first court appearance after his arrest that happened last week, the Chief Principal Secretary, arguing in the interest the Indian authorities, told the court that Modi is wanted for alleged “high value and sophisticated” fraud and money laundering to the tune of USD 2 billion.
The CPS was joined in court by a joint CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) team that arrived from India to help the extradition case.