The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday said it will act against absconding jewellery designer Nirav Modi in connection with the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam only after it gets a request from the security agencies.
When asked about Nirav Modi's whereabouts, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told media while addressing a media briefing, "We cannot go by the speculations that are doing the rounds. There are reports of him being in many countries. As far as MEA is concerned, we come into the picture once we receive a request from the security agencies."
Speculations abounded over the whereabouts of Nirav Modi, with indications he could be in the United States, staying in either an upscale Manhattan hotel residential complex or elsewhere in New York state.
Furthermore, reports surfaced that the Diamond merchant was staying at JW Marriott Essex House apartments in Manhattan, New York City.
On the other hand, Hong Kong's Department of Justice (DoJ), earlier in April, had refused to share information on the absconding jewellery designer, who is confirmed to be in the Hong Kong by the Indian authorities.
The jewellery designer, along with his uncle and business partner Mehul Choksi, was at the centre of the multi-crore loan default scam that hit the PNB.
The scam, which reportedly began in 2011, was detected in the third week of January this year after which PNB officials reported it to the concerned agencies.
Both Modi and Choksi managed to flee the country in the first week of January, just days before PNB detected the fraud.