Finally, Govt gets hold of NiMo's email ID

Finally, Govt gets hold of NiMo's email ID

Gotcha! NiMo's email address

By: || Updated: 23 Feb 2018 08:40 AM

Jewellery designer Nirav Modi. Photo: Facebook

New Delhi: The Indian government has finally laid its hands on the email address of Nirav Modi, who was last seen in public in a photograph with the Prime Minister on January 23.

However, there is still little clarity on the whereabouts of Nirav, among those accused of defrauding Punjab National Bank of Rs 11,400 crore, with the ministry of external affairs (MEA) putting the ball in the court of law enforcement agencies and the CBI kicking it towards "diplomatic channels".

Fielding a slew of questions on Nirav, external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said: "A request had been received to send notice to a particular email ID. Accordingly, the notice was sent to the email ID as requested."

The spokesperson was referring to the notice informing Nirav of the ministry's decision to suspend his passport and asking him to respond by Friday.

Nirav probably reached out to the government through a lawyer ahead of the deadline but the ministry refused to divulge details on how the contact had been established. Apparently, there was some confusion on the address to which the notice had initially been sent and the ministry was later informed of another email address.

Since the confusion delayed the process of serving the notice on Nirav, the ministry is now examining whether he should be given extra time to respond. Otherwise, if he does not respond by Friday, the ministry can proceed with the revocation of the passport.

There is still no clarity on whether Nirav has a second passport, which he could be using to travel even now. An Indian passport is issued only to Indian citizens after they give an undertaking that they do not hold another passport.

Asked about Nirav's whereabouts, Kumar said the question should be addressed to the law enforcement agencies. "There are certain investigations and legal procedures which need to be completed before the MEA comes into the picture," he said.

However, the CBI has been saying that Interpol has been alerted and now his whereabouts have to be established through diplomatic channels. "We only know that he left India on January 1 for Dubai with his brother Nishal," CBI spokesman Abhishek Dayal has said.

But 22 days later, Nirav was seen in a group photograph with Narendra Modi in Davos.

The Enforcement Directorate has seized nine cars belonging to Nirav. It also claimed to have frozen Nirav's shares and mutual funds worth Rs 7.8 crore and that of his uncle c valued at Rs 86.72 crore.

The agency also seized paintings owned by Nirav and attributed to Francis Souza, M.F. Husain, Amrita Sher-Gil, V.S. Gaitonde and Akbar Padamsee.

Unlike earlier, when the agency had rushed to proclaim the value of seized items, an official said on Thursday: "We do not know whether these paintings are original works of these renowned artists. Evaluation of these paintings is on."

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