In a surprising development China has advised India to deal directly with Hong Kong on Nirav Modi issue and Beijing would leave it to the local administration to take a decision on India’s request for repatriation. Modi is suspected to be hiding in Hong Kong.
Geng Shuang, the spokesman of Chinese Foreign Ministry said in Beijing on Monday, “According to the one country, two systems (policy) and basic law of the HKSAR (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region), under the assistance and authorisation of the Central government, the HKSAR can make arrangements on judicial mutual assistance with other countries”.
He encouraged India to deal with Hong Kong on the matter. “If India makes a relevant request to the HKSAR, we believe the HKSAR will follow the basic law and relevant laws, and under relevant judicial agreements with India, on relevant issue,”
Despite being part of China, HKSAR is run by a local government elected through a democratic election under what Beijing calls the “one country, two systems” policy.
Meanwhile, the income-tax department is reportedly set to initiate proceedings against jeweller Nirav Modi, wanted in the Rs 14,000-crore PNB fraud, under the black money law tat provides for imprisonment of upto to seven years for not disclosing foreign assets.
The department has written tax authotities in Jersey, the Bahamas, Cyprus, Singapore and Mauritius, seeking details of Modi’s accounts and entities linked with him.
The CBI and other agencies are investigating into the PNB fraud which was allegedly perpetrated through issuing and rolling over of guarantees in violation of the rules. Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, also a jeweller, their companies and bank officials are accused of involvement. Both left India before the news of the fraud became public.
Nirav Modi left the country on January 1 while his home, showrooms and offices in Mumbai, Delhi and Surat were searched on February 15 after PNB complained of staggering fraud at the cost of the taxpayer to benefit the celebrity jeweller and others.
Nirav Modi was seen in a group photo in Davos with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Congress party has accused PM Modi of helping “Chhota Modi” escape the country through he had been aware of a scame since 2016 when a whistleblower wrote to him on Nirav Modi’s uncle Mehul Choksi and warned that he would leave the country.