London, June 11: UK Minister Susan Williams assured 'full cooperation' to the Indian side in the extradition of fraudsters Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya. Williams, who serves in the Theresa May-led government, gave the assurance while responding to a diplomatic appeal issued by Indian MoS, Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju.
Mallya and Modi have collectively defrauded Indian banks to the tune of more than Rs 25,000 crores. Mallya fled to the UK in 2016, days after a consortium of 13 Indian lenders moved the court charging him of wilfully defaulting loans worth nearly Rs 9,000 crores.
Modi, on the other hand, left the nation in the first week of January, days before the CBI registered the first FIR against him for duping the Punjab National Bank (PNB). The quantum of the fraud, in the days to follow, climbed up to Rs 13,800 crores. The fraud involves Modi's maternal uncle and fellow diamantaire Mehul Choksi -- who also fled the nation early in January.
Reports earlier in the day confirmed the presence of Modi in London. He has reportedly applied for political asylum. The celebrity jeweler was earlier lodged in Hong Kong. The extradition request from India, however, necessitated his departure to the UK.
In the meeting held between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his UK counterpart Theresa May at the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), the issue of Mallya's asylum was raked up.
In a recent press briefing, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said Modi conveyed to May that Mallya's argument of inhumane treatment to jail inmates in India is bogus. "Jails in India are the same jails that Britishers used to imprison Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru,"Swaraj quoted Modi as saying.