As the web of Lalit Modi's powerful friends unravels in India, emails procured by The Sunday Times have revealed that the former IPL commissioner also had connections with British royalty.
Citing leaked emails, the U.K.-based newspaper reported that Lalit Modi, a fugitive from Indian law, asked Prince Charles, 66, and his younger brother Prince Andrew, 55, for help in securing travel documents.
Andrew, second son of Queen Elizabeth II, reportedly visited Lalit Modi, who is being investigated by Indian agencies for money laundering, on July 21 at his seven-storey townhouse in Chelsea - a few days before his travel documents were granted following an intervention by Keith Vaz, an Indian-origin lawmaker in the U.K.
On August 1, 2014, Lalit Modi sent out an email to multiple recipients confirming that he had received his travel documents.
Investigations by the Indian media have revealed how External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje helped Lalit Modi secure travel documents, last year. While the U.K. government decided not to conduct a probe against Vaz, opposition parties are calling for resignation of both BJP leaders.
On July 2, Vaz raised Modi’s case with another home official, The Sunday Times reported. He wrote: “Mr Modi informs me that he met the Prince of Wales (Charles)… and he also met Prince Andrew two days ago. Both offered to help resolve this matter as he was complaining about missing the wedding of his sister and the inability to meet amongst others the president of the Seychelles.”
Over the weekend, Buckingham Palace refused to say what the two men had discussed, The Sunday Times reported.
"While we would never comment on the private meetings or conversations of members of the royal family, I can confirm that the Duke of York has known Mr Modi over a number of years," the statement said. "The duke is fully aware that policy and decisions relating to immigration issues are a matter for the Home Office. It is categorically untrue that he has sought to influence decisions on these issues."
Prince Andrew's spokesperson said he had not accepted any hospitality of gifts from Lalit Modi, and "the duke was not aware of the detail of allegations."
A spokesperson for Prince Charles said he had met Lalit Modi on "a handful" of occasions at charity functions.