Dark days ly ahead for fugitive diamond trader Mehul Choksi, who with his nephew Nirav Modi had scammed the Punjab National Bank of Rs13,500 crore in early 2018. Choksi had fled off to the Caribbeans and obtained a citizenship of Antigua, an island in the West Indies.
According to Antigua Observer, the Prime Minister Gaston Browne said fraudster Mehul Choksi’s Antigua and Barbuda citizenship will be revoked in short order. “His citizenship was processed; he got through but the reality is his citizenship will be revoked and he will be repatriated to India.” The PM said they are trying to clear the air that Antigua is not a safe harbor for criminals and those involved in financial crimes. He explained that they have to allow due process.
“He (Choksi) has a matter before the court and as we said to the Indian Government, criminals have fundamental rights, too and Choksi has a right to go to court and defend his position. But I can assure you, after he has exhausted all of his legal options, he will be extradited.”
Reports say Choksi claimed to be undergoing medical treatment in the Caribbeans and refused to travel to India for investigations. The ED said he would be given the required medical treatment after his extradition to India. Choksi told officials that he can appear before a special court and investigating agencies via video conferencing. He acquired Antigua citizenship just a month before CBI unearthed the PNB scam. Officials claim that Choksi never cooperated in the investigations. Moreover, a non-bailable warrant was issued against him, followed by a Interpol red notice.