St Kitts has become the perfect place for Nirav Modi to stay as it does not have an extradition treaty with India.
Mumbai: The disgraced diamond czar Nirav Modi and has family have moved to his new hideout, Sylvan St Kitts, located in the eastern Caribbean, according to a report in Mumbai Mirror.
Sources in the diamond trading communities of Mumbai and Surat said that the 48-year-old diamantaire has also bought a villa at St Kitts, which is helping him in acquiring citizenship of the Caribbean island nation.
“He has been planning this for a while now. In fact, he visited St Kitts along with his family last week,” a source revealed to Mumbai Mirror.
St Kitts has become the perfect place for Nirav Modi to stay as it does not have an extradition treaty with India, despite being part of the Commonwealth.
While India’s treaty partners have treaty obligations to consider India’s requests, in the absence of a treaty, it is a matter for the foreign country to consider, in accordance with its domestic laws and procedures, whether the country can agree to India’s extradition request on the basis of an assurance of reciprocity.
According to the St Kitts and Nevis government’s website, applicants can win citizenship through an investment program.
Applicants may qualify for citizenship through a contribution to the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF). For a single applicant, a non-refundable contribution of Rs 1.6 crore (USD 250,000) is required.
Applicants may also qualify for citizenship through an investment in a pre-approved real estate project, which may include hotel shares, villas, and condominium units. The minimum real estate investment required by law is Rs 2.6 crore (USD 400,000) for each main applicant.
“Now that his passport has been revoked by the MEA, he will set up another diamond trading unit in either Singapore or Hong Kong," another source said.
“He can do this and continue to evade Indian authorities, because neither of these countries will extradite him, since he will be a St Kitts citizen soon,” he added.
The Indian Government on Saturday revoked the passports of celebrity jeweller Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, key accused in Rs 11,400 crore Punjab National Bank scam.
The ministry of external affairs (MEA) sent an email informing Nirav that his passport stands revoked under section 10 (3) (C) of the Passport Act.
Modi, Choksi and others are being investigated by multiple probe agencies after the fraud came to light recently following a complaint by the Punjab National Bank. The complaint alleged that they cheated the nationalised bank to the tune of Rs 11,400 crore, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank.
Nirav along with his wife Ami, brother Neeshal and Mehul Choksi left India in the first week of January before the Punjab National Bank accused them of committing the fraud. They have not returned to India since then.
Nirav Modi's "planned" exit from India, is similar to one by Winsome Diamond Group promoter Jatin Mehta, who is also considered one of the biggest corporate defaulters.
Jatin Mehta, who is now a citizen of Saint Kitts owes Rs 6,800 crore to 15 banks in India.
Until the PNB declared its fraudulent transactions, the Winsome Diamond Group scam was country's second largest banking fraud after Kingfisher Airlines.