Finding himself in troubled waters, Nirav Modi’s four Swiss bank accounts have been frozen by authorities in Switzerland.
The Swiss authorities have frozen a total of US $ 6 million present in Nirav Modi’s Swiss bank accounts along with the assets.
The fugitive diamantaire has been lodged at Wandsworth prison in south-west London since his arrest in March.
The 48-year-old has been convicted of a fraud amounting to nearly USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) along with a money laundering case. He will be appearing for the first time since his bail appeal was rejected the fourth time by the UK High Court earlier this month.
He will appear via video link from prison for a routine remand hearing before Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London on Thursday.
Justice Ingrid Simler, in her judgment given at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, concluded that there were “substantial grounds” to believe that Modi would fail to surrender as he does possess the means to “abscond”.
Judge Simler ruled that after considering all the material “carefully”, she had found strong evidence to suggest there had been some meddling with witnesses and destruction of evidence in the case. She concluded that it may still happen.
The concerns raised in the ruling were in line with those previously raised in previous bail attempts at the court.
“The applicant has access to considerable financial resources, supported by an increased (bail bond security) offer of 2 million pounds,” the judge noted.
The High Court judge noted that it was not for her to take a “definitive view” on the evidence, however, she had proceeded on the grounds that the government of India has acted in good faith in what is “undoubtedly” a serious case and a “sophisticated international conspiracy” to defraud, coupled with money laundering.
Earlier on May 30, the first case management hearing in his extradition case took place at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, wherein Judge Emma Arbuthnot directed the Indian government to confirm which prison Modi is to be held in if he were to be extradited to India. The court set a 14-day deadline for a confirmation of the prison plans in India.
The UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), representing the Indian government, has time till July 11 to present an opening statement laying out the prima facie case against Modi.
The next case management hearing has been decided for July 29 when a timeline for extradition trial is expected to be laid out.
Modi was arrested by uniformed Scotland Yard officers on an extradition warrant on March 19 and has been in prison since.
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.