Journalism doesn’t always happen by design.
When The Daily Telegraph found the fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi hailing a taxi in London, and peppered him with questions, it was not because a crack investigative team was actively looking for the man who had defrauded banks in India of Rs 13,000 crore.
It was because the paper’s magazine and luxury supplements editor Sarah Slater thought there was a story to be done about the man “who had taken the London luxury scene by storm”.
“Sarah came to me and said, ‘Wouldn’t it be interesting to write about this guy, Nirav Modi?’ and my first question was, ‘Who?’,” recounts the reporter Mick Brown, who met the man India is ostensibly looking for, in an interview with Amit Roy of the Indian Telegraph (below).
There had been reports of Nirav sightings in several cities, including London, earlier. This had aroused Brown’s interest.
“That sort of led me to think, this is kind of interesting, this guy is running around in London — if he’s in London how come he’s still in London, and on what sort of basis is he living here? That forced us to start asking questions.”
The newspaper deployed a team of five: “There was myself, Robert Mendick, chief reporter with high-level contacts (it is as much his story as mine), a couple of photographers and a videographer…. (We had) gained some sort of insight into where he was and what he was doing,” Brown says.
Photograph: courtesy Amit Roy/The Telegraph
Read the full article: Events that led to the tap on Nirav Modi’s shoulder