Officials said Nirav Modi came to UK on his original passport, which was then revoked.
Since January, when he fled India, Nirav Modi has been crisscrossing Europe, sources said. He turned up in the UK in February, then went to Paris, France and now is probably in Belgium.
Officials said he came to UK on his original passport, which was then revoked. Once Indian officials got to know of the existence of his multiple passports, the information was passed onto UK’s foreign office. After investigations, it was found that he had used one of those to travel to France in March.
It is however, not known if he also has a passport from Singapore in his possession. Officials of the Enforcement Directorate, which is conducting the investigation against the diamantaire and his associates, had initially said he had travelled to UK on a passport issued by Singapore.
Last week, Financial Times reported that Nirav Modi is in London, where his company has a store in the posh Mayfair area, seeking political asylum. Union minister Kiren Rijiju, however indicated that the government does not have “concrete information” about this. The British government has not confirmed details on Nirav Modi’s visa status in the UK or whether he is seeking to apply for asylum.
British officials said India can apply for extradition without exact knowledge of Nirav Modi’s whereabouts. That process is already underway, with the CBI officials asking Interpol to issue a red corner notice – close to an international arrest warrant – against him.
It is not known if Nirav Modi has permanent residency in UK like Vikay Mallya, the beer baron who is also wanted in India. A permanent residency would make him ineligible for political asylum in the UK.