Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, who was remanded in custody till March 29 by a UK court on Wednesday, is likely to be held in a separate cell in Her Majesty’s Prison Wandsworth, which is one of the largest prisons in western Europe.
In the prison in south London, 48-year-old Modi’s inmates will include the likes of alleged Dawood henchman Pakistani-origin Jabir Moti, currently undergoing extradition proceedings to the US.
Nirav Modi, who was living in a plush apartment in Centre Point in the West End until his arrest on Tuesday, was sent to prison on the eve of Holi.
HMP Wandsworth is a Category B prison, where criminals are held if not deemed to be of a high level of security risk.
It can currently hold 1,628 prisoners and was originally built in 1851.
Since 1989, there has been extensive refurbishment and modernisation of the wings, including in-cell sanitation, privacy screens for cells occupied by more than one prisoner and the more recent installation of in-cell electricity, the UK Justice Department notes in reference to the prison.
Nirav Modi is likely to be held in a separate cell until his next hearing on March 29.
He was arrested from a Metro Bank branch in London by uniformed officers on Tuesday, when he went there to open a new bank account.
Nirav Modi’s arrest comes days after the UK recently referred India’s request for extraditing bank-fraud accused businessman to a court for initiating legal proceedings against the diamantaire after finding his case “fit for extradition”.
A UK court had on Monday issued an arrest warrant against Modi following a request forwarded by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for his extradition.
Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are under probe by both the CBI and the ED, which has till date attached properties worth Rs 4,765 crore of Choksi and Nirav Modi.
Both left India in January last year before the CBI started investigating the PNB scam.
According to investigating officials, Modi had left India on January 1, 2018, much before the CBI received a complaint from Punjab National Bank (PNB) on January 29, 2018, about the fraud.
He is one of India’s richest men, worth an estimated USD 1.75 billion, according to Forbes. He launched his own eponymous brand in 2010 and he soon had stores across India, as well as in New York, London and Hong Kong.
(With PTI inputs)