Mumbai, March 3 A PMLA court here on Saturday issued non-bailable warrants (NBWs) against absconder diamantaires Nirav Modi and his uncle and business partner Mehul Choksi in the Rs 12,600-crore (almost $2 billion) Punjab National Bank fraud.
The NBWs, issued by the Prevention of Money Laundering Act court Judge M.S. Azmi, will facilitate the extradition of Modi and Choksi once their whereabouts are traced, said Special Public Prosecutor Hiten Venegaonkar.
The development comes after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on February 27 moved the PMLA court for issuing the NBWs after the duo failed to honour three summonses and appear before the agency for questioning on February 15, 17, and 23.
Simultaneously, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had sent a communication to Nirav Modi, asking him to return to India for the ongoing probe, but the latter spurned the agency by repling in the negative on the ground that he was tied up in his businesses abroad.
The Indian government has already suspended Modi's and Choksi's passports, among others, and asked Interpol to issue lookout notices for them as their current whereabouts are a matter of speculation.
Nirav Modi Group's flagship company Firestar Diamonds, with branches in several countries, has already filed for bankruptcy in a New York court, which has granted an interim stay to prohibit creditors from collecting debts.