Ami fled India soon after the alleged bank fraud
An Interpol global arrest warrant has been issued against the wife of suspected fraudster Nirav Modi, Ami Modi.
Modi is a diamond merchant who is accused of orchestrating the Punjab National Bank fraud case.
Officials said on August 25, 2019, that his wife is accused of money laundering.
Interpol said that a ‘red notice’ has been issued by the global police body on the request of the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Once such a notice is issued against a fugitive, Interpol requests its 192-member countries to arrest or detain the person if spotted in their countries after which extradition or deportation proceedings can begin.
It is believed that Ami fled India soon after the alleged bank fraud, worth over $2 billion, came to light in 2018.
Sometime in 2019, Ami was last seen in the United States. Agencies are unsure of her current location.
The ED charged Ami with money laundering along with her husband and his uncle Mehul Choksi under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
This comes after the ED named Ami in a supplementary charge sheet for being the alleged beneficiary in the $30 million purchase of two apartments in New York City.
The apartments were part of several foreign properties seized in October 2019, which included a flat in London.
Nirav Modi is currently in a UK prison after he was arrested in March 2019. He is currently fighting extradition. In early August 2020, he was remanded to custody till August 27, after he appeared via video link in a routine remand hearing before a UK court.
His uncle Mehul Choksi has taken citizenship on Island of Antigua and has cited health reason for not returning to India.
Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne said in 2019 that his citizenship would be revoked once all legal options had been exhausted.
Red notices have been served against Modi, his brother Nehal and his sister Purvi.
The charges against the diamond merchant centre around his firms Diamonds R Us, Solar Exports and Stellar Diamonds making fraudulent use of a credit facility offered by the Punjab National Bank (PNB), known as “letters of undertaking” (LoUs).
According to the Government of India’s case, a number of PNB staff conspired with Nirav Modi to ensure LoUs were issued to these companies without ensuring they were subject to the required credit check, without recording the issuance of the LoUs and without charging the required commission upon the transactions.
This resulted in a fraud amounting to nearly $2 billion.
Nehal Modi’s name also features in a supplementary chargesheet filed by the CBI, which charged him with destroying evidence in Dubai to cover the tracks of the alleged crime.