The diamond service provider needed in India on expenses of fraud and cash laundering within the estimated $2-billion Punjab Nationwide Financial institution (PNB) rip-off case, misplaced his authorized battle in opposition to extradition as a UK decide dominated that he does have a case to reply earlier than the Indian courts.
He has been lodged at Wandsworth Jail in south-west London since his arrest on an extradition warrant in March 2019 at a central London financial institution department, the place he was making an attempt to arrange a brand new account.
He had been staying close by at an opulent penthouse in Centrepoint within the coronary heart of the UK capital, usually strolling his canine to an apparently new jewelry enterprise close by.
It later emerged throughout remand hearings at Westminster magistrates’ court docket in London that he had employed Boutique Legislation LLP in anticipation of the extradition proceedings on expenses of fraud and cash laundering by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED), making an attempt to strike a voluntary give up and bail deal.
Nevertheless, because the CBI and ED proof was offered in court docket by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), arguing on behalf of the Indian authorities, his provide of as much as GBP (British pound sterling) four million as safety to be allowed to be bailed underneath strict home arrest circumstances was repeatedly rejected.
His detention in a shared cell with one different inmate is a far cry from his previous billionaire way of life, which concerned hobnobbing with high-profile celebrities and his diamond designs discovering pink carpet favour with stars.
“I used to be completely impressed with the craftsmanship on the workshop [in India]. It was the highest quality I may see wherever on the earth,” Thierry Fritsch, a high-end French jewelry professional, advised the UK court docket in the course of the course of the extradition listening to final yr.
As somebody who had served on the advisory board of Nirav Modi’s firm for 3 years since 2015, Fritsch was deposed by the defence workforce to vouch for Nirav’s “integrity” and expertise as an entrepreneur and artistic particular person, who was keen about establishing the primary worldwide model of luxurious jewelry out of India.
A gems professional, Dr Richard Taylor, was additionally fielded to enter the nitty-gritties of the diamond commerce and the way the Nirav Modi model had succeeded in making a mark around the globe.
“The business depends on sending out high-value product to corporations and to do this they require belief and confidence,” mentioned Taylor, in an try to determine Modi’s credibility within the enterprise.
“India is the biggest and most vital centre of diamond slicing… it was a really vital pattern that he [Nirav Modi] was a part of,” he added.
The image painted in court docket was certainly one of a proficient jewelry designer who was solely pushed by one mission – to make the Nirav Modi model worthy of competitors with the likes of worldwide luxurious jewelry manufacturers equivalent to Tiffany or Cartier. And, the accusations related to the extradition case had been painted as nothing greater than a industrial dispute.
The CPS, in flip, offered paperwork and video proof in an effort to determine a fancy internet of misuse of a financial institution credit score facility known as letters of endeavor (LoUs) and threats issued to so-called “dummy administrators” of entrance corporations to maintain them out of the attain of Indian investigative authorities.
All through the extradition case in London, Nirav Modi’s despair and psychological well being situation remained on the coronary heart of arguments – together with his prolonged incarceration mentioned to have worsened his situation.
“Coupled with a extreme situation of despair, for my part, he presents a excessive danger of suicide albeit not instantly,” Dr Andrew Forrester, a forensic psychiatrist who examined him, advised the court docket in September final yr.
On the time, Forrester mentioned Nirav’s psychological well being situation was on a deterioration trajectory and met the standards for hospital remedy within the absence of a multi-professional plan, involving antidepressants and psychotherapy.
Aside from just a few preliminary remand hearings in 2019, Nirav has been showing solely by way of videolink from a room in Wandsworth Jail because the case was carried out in a part-remote setting because of the coronavirus lockdown. Through the hearings final yr, he appeared alert and always referred to recordsdata associated to the case made obtainable to him. Extra lately, he has appeared by way of videolink sporting a thick beard and at occasions extra dishevelled than his look in a proper shirt and go well with over the previous yr.