New Delhi, Sep 10: The CBI has started the extradition process of Neeshal Modi, the brother of fugitive billionaire Nirav Modi who is the alleged mastermind of the USD 2-billion alleged banking fraud in Punjab National Bank, officials said Monday.
The CBI has moved the extradition request of Neeshal Modi to the Union Home Ministry on Friday, they said. The Home Ministry will send it to Belgium, where Neeshal Modi is believed to be holding up, through the External Affairs Ministry, they said.
The Interpol issued a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against Neeshal Modi, a Belgian national, on the request of the CBI, they said. In its RCN issued against a fugitive, the Interpol asks its 192 member countries to arrest or detain the person if spotted in their countries after which extradition or deportation proceedings can begin.
India has extradition treaty with Belgium, they said. It is alleged that Neeshal Modi was "actively" involved in the scam, they said. He is alleged to be the beneficiary of funds siphoned off, instrumental in introducing dummy partners and changing pattern of partnership structure of companies, they said.
Thirty-four-year-old Neeshal Modi, along with his brother Nirav Modi and uncle Mehul Choksi, fled the country in the first week of January this year, weeks before the scam surfaced in Brady House branch of Punjab National Bank in Mumbai. Nirav Modi has been located in the United Kingdom while Choksi is in Antigua where he has taken citizenship, they said.
The scam pertains to the alleged issuance of fraudulent Letters of Undertaking of more than USD 2 billion to companies of Nirav Modi and Choksi by Punjab National Bank's Brady House branch during 2011-17, officials said.
An LoU is a guarantee given by an issuing bank to Indian banks with branches abroad to grant short-term credit to the applicant. Nirav Modi and his companies allegedly availed credit from the overseas branches of Indian banks using the fraudulent PNB guarantees given through LoUs and letters of credit issued by the Brady House branch which were not repaid, bringing the liability on the state-run bank, the officials said.