Mumbai court issues Non-Bailable arrest warrant against Lalit Modi

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Mumbai: Today, a special court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act issued a non-bailable arrest warrant (NBW) against former IPL boss Lalit Modi in connection with a case of money laundering following a plea by the Enforcement Directorate.

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Mr Modi, 49 was the flamboyant founder of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the domestic 20-20 cricket tournament that turned into a blockbuster hit. But in 2010, he left the country amid allegations of tax evasion, money-laundering and proxy ownership embedded in the IPL. He has since refused to return to India, alleging death threats from the underworld.

The court asked Enforcement Directorate (ED) on August 4, the reason behind not arresting Lalit Modi in the connection with the case. Special judge PR Bhavake, who heads the court handling cases under PMLA, had asked ED as reported in The Hindu, “You have the right to arrest. Why are you not arresting him.” According to ED sources, this warrant will be sent to the Ministry of External Affairs which in turn will be sending it to the United Kingdom. Lalit Modi left the country shortly after the ED began its probe against him in 2009.

“We will now forward the court’s orders to the Home Ministry. They could forward it then to the Home Department in the UK or to the Interpol,” said a source in the Enforcement Directorate, which handles cases of money-laundering.

The agency saying that Mr. Modi manipulated the process of assigning broadcast rights of the IPL in 2009, reportedly in exchange for a kickback of over 125 crores. Testimony against Mr Modi has been given by N Srinivasan, former head of the uber-powerful BCCI, which is the top cricket administrative body in the country.

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