Fugitive diamond merchant Nirav held in London’s overcrowded jail

New Delhi: Fugitive Diamond Merchant Nirav Modi shall remain in Police custody until March 29 sources said.

He was sent to Her Majesty’s Prison Wandsworth in South-west London after his arrest in London on Wednesday where he spent his holi in England’s most overcrowded jail, TN reports.

Modi is a primary accused in the state-controlled Punjab National Bank (PNB) Rs 14,600 crore scam and had reported fled the country.

He was arrested while trying to open a bank account in London. He will be held in a separate but overcrowded jail in London and probably will share his cell with one of the 1,430 male prisoners.

According to sources, an inspection of Wandsworth Prison in 2018 revealed the cells are designed to accommodate only one prisoner but is often given to two prisoners and has poor lavatories.
He will now appear for a preliminary hearing on March 29 before chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot.

Chief Magistrate Arbuthnot had previously overseen Vijay Mallya’s trial.

When produced before the court and asked whether or not he consented to extradition, Modi replied: “I do not consent.”

The extradition barrister representing Nirav, George Hepburne Scott, has put forward an application for bail of £500,000 (Rs 4.5 crore) and proposed that his client could report to his local police station.

Scott said, “He has done everything in his capacity to be visible to demonstrate his keenness to fully cooperate.” He is the opposite of a flight risk.”