- Mehul Choksi is needed in Rs 13,000 crore PNB mortgage fraud case
- Police within the Caribbean island nation have launched a manhunt for him
- He has been concerned in a long-running authorized battle to cease extradition
Mehul Choksi – the 62-year-old fugitive diamantaire needed by the CBI and Enforcement Directorate in reference to Rs 14,000 crore PNB mortgage fraud and money-laundering case – has gone lacking within the Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, to which he fled in 2018.
Mr Choksi’s lawyer, Vijay Aggarwal, confirmed to NDTV on Tuesday morning that his shopper is lacking and that his household is on the lookout for him. He additionally stated Antiguan police had launched a manhunt.
Antiguan police, in keeping with information company PTI, started looking for Mr Choksi on Sunday.
“Police are investigating a Missing Person’s Report of 62-year-old Mehul Choksi of Jolly Harbour. Mehul was reported missing Sunday, May 23 at Johnson Point Police Station,” the assertion stated.
Sources throughout the CBI advised NDTV it had not been formally knowledgeable that Mr Choksi is lacking, however it’s writing to the Antiguan embassy in India for affirmation and extra info.
Agency sources additionally stated a Red Notice against Mr Choksi – issued by international police physique Interpol in 2018 – meant they are going to be alerted if he entered any immigration level anyplace on the planet.
Meanwhile, intelligence sources, quoting native media in Antigua, say Mr Choksi may need shifted base to Cuba. “We have got such reports (and) we are ascertaining it,” a senior official advised NDTV.
Like Antigua, Cuba has no extradition settlement with India.
According to information company ANI, Mr Choksi left his dwelling Sunday night to go for dinner at a restaurant within the southern a part of the island. He has not been seen since. He was final seen in his car, which was discovered later that night, however there may be nonetheless no signal of him.
Mehul Choksi is concerned in a long-running authorized battle to cease his extradition to India.
He at the moment holds Antiguan citizenship. Last yr Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne stated that citizenship can be revoked as soon as all of his authorized choices had been exhausted.
Mr Browne made it clear his nation – amongst many ‘tax havens’ within the Caribbean – won’t present “safe harbour for criminals, for those who are involved in financial crimes”.
“Choksi’s citizenship was processed, he acquired by means of. We do have recourse, the truth is his citizenship will be revoked and he will be deported to India,” the Antigua Observer reported Mr Browne as saying.
In March Mr Choksi’s lawyer countered media studies that stated citizenship had, in actual fact, been revoked by an Antiguan civil courtroom. Mr Aggarwal stated Mehul Choksi remains an Antiguan citizen.
In an earlier interview with ANI Mr Choksi had protested his innocence and stated that the fees in opposition to him are false, baseless and motivated by political expediency.
Mr Choksi’s nephew, billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, 50, can also be needed in reference to the PNB rip-off case. Like his uncle Mr Modi fled India in 2018 and is at the moment within the United Kingdom.
Nirav Modi’s extradition to India was cleared by the British authorities final month. However, Mr Modi can nonetheless problem that extradition order earlier than the UK High Court.
That course of could take months and even years, as seen within the case of liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who went to courtroom in opposition to his extradition order signed again in February 2019.
With enter from ANI, PTI