Diamond merchant Nirav Modi, who is accused of defrauding the Punjab National Bank of more than Rs 13,000 crore along with his uncle Mehul Choksi, travelled to four countries even after his passport was revoked, the Central Bureau of Investigation said on Monday.
The agency said it had issued a diffusion notice through Interpol on February 15 against Modi, the Hindustan Times reported. “After the passport was revoked by the External Affairs Ministry, we had updated this information in the diffusion notice,” CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said. “The information that the passport of Nirav Modi has been revoked was provided in the Interpol central database, available to all member countries, on February 24.”
Dayal said that though the notice was sent to all 190 countries who are members of Interpol, the CBI separately pursued the matter with six countries – the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates – where it was suspected Modi may have sought refuge. These countries were asked to share information about his whereabouts.
However, only the United Kingdom has so far provided details of the entry and exit of Modi, and that too only up to March 31, CBI officials said. Between February 15 and March 31, Modi travelled to Britain, the United States, Hong Kong and France.
Reports on Sunday said that the absconding businessman held as many as six passports, and may face a new case for violating the law. Two of the six passports were active for a while, an official said. The CBI and the Enforcement Directorate have purportedly tracked Modi to Belgium.