New Delhi: Interpol has issued a red corner notice (RCN) against fugitive jeweller Nirav Modi, his brother Neeshal Modi and close aide Subhash Parab, who was an executive with the Nirav Modi group. The 29 June notice, announced on Monday, is a big boost for India’s agencies hunting Modi in connection with the 14,356 crore fraud at Punjab National Bank (PNB).

“The Interpol headquarters in Lyons (France) has informed on 29 June that a red corner notice against Nirav Deepak Modi, Neeshal Deepak Modi and Subhash Shankar Parab has been opened. The NCB (National Central Bureau—Interpol), India, had forwarded the request of the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) and other investigating agencies to the Interpol HQ for the said notices against the accused," CBI said.

Some reports say Modi is in the UK, but the CBI has denied knowledge of his whereabouts.

The RCN allows security agencies in all Interpol member-countries to track down and arrest the suspect so that extradition proceedings can be started against them.

However, CBI has not yet sent an extradition request against Modi to the ministry of external affairs. “An extradition request can happen when his whereabouts are known. As per the RCN, when Modi is located, the police of that particular country will detain him up to 36 hours, within which they will consult with CBI. If CBI responds, he will remain in custody and if not he will be granted bail after 36 hours. However, if the will of that particular government is strong, they can also deport him," said a person familiar with the developments.

The CBI, upon a complaint by PNB, had filed a first information report (FIR) against Nirav Modi on 29 January this year. Modi had, however, according to the CBI, left India with his brother Neeshal Modi and wife Ami Modi, in the first week of January itself.

Modi’s potential arrest and return to India would help investigating agencies learn how the fraud was committed.

Modi’s lawyer Vijay Aggarwal did not respond to Mint’s calls seeking a response.

CBI has also requested Interpol to issue an RCN against Modi’s uncle Mehul Choksi, a co-accused, but this has yet to be acted upon by the international agency. The RCN follows a Mumbai sessions court’s go-ahead to the CBI to issue a non-bailable warrant against Modi and Choksi in April. The enforcement directorate (ED) too had moved a sessions court in Mumbai last month, seeking an NBW against the two.

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