The Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday that fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi, who is accused of being involved in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank scam, does not have more than one Indian passport in his possession.
Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are accused of defrauding the Punjab National Bank of more than Rs 13,000 crore. A few officials of the public sector bank had allegedly issued fraudulent Letters of Undertaking to Modi’s companies. Some of them have been arrested and are under investigation.
“At no time [did he have] more than one valid passport in his possession,” ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told the media. “In February, based on the advice of our agencies, his passport was initially suspended and then revoked.”
Kumar added that the Indian government has sent word to all its missions abroad to get in touch with local governments to deny entry to Modi and inform India if he is found, PTI reported. “The [passport] revocation notice was sent to all passport issuing authorities in India and abroad as well as to all our missions and posts,” he added.
The ministry’s statement comes days after the Central Bureau of Investigation had said that Modi travelled to four countries even after his passport was revoked. The agency said it had issued a diffusion notice through Interpol on February 15 against Modi. Reports earlier this month had claimed that the absconding businessman held as many as six passports, for which a new case might be filed against him.