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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 22 July 2018

Indian billionaire Nirav Modi wanted by Interpol over $2bn bank fraud

Agency issues a red notice to locate fugitive jeweller, who has been charged in relation to India's biggest banking scandal

An official of India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), centre, escorts men suspected of steering fraudulent loans to companies linked to billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi. Danish Siddiqui/Reuters
An official of India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), centre, escorts men suspected of steering fraudulent loans to companies linked to billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi. Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

Interpol has issued a red notice request to find and arrest fugitive Indian billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, who is at the heart of a $2 billion-plus (Dh7.43bn) bank fraud case, the international agency said on its website.

Federal police last month asked Interpol to issue a red notice to locate Mr Modi, who has been charged in relation to India's biggest banking fraud.

The Financial Times, citing Indian and British officials, said last month that Mr Modi had fled to Britain claiming political asylum.

Government-backed Punjab National Bank earlier this year said that two jewellery groups headed by Mr Modi and his uncle, Mehul Choksi, had defrauded it of about $2.2bn by raising credit from other Indian banks using illegal guarantees.

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Read more:

Indian billionaire jeweller seeks asylum in Britain: report

Investigators to quiz 31 Indian bank chiefs over $2bn PNB fraud

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An internal probe by PNB found that the fraud might have been orchestrated by a few rogue employees, and it escaped detection because of widespread risk-control and monitoring lapses in many areas of the bank.

A red notice is a "request to locate and provisionally arrest an individual pending extradition", according to Interpol.

"Interpol cannot compel any member country to arrest an individual who is the subject of a red notice," it says on its website.

"Each member country decides for itself what legal value to give a red notice within their borders."