Antiguan authorities to vet Mehul Choksi extradition request this week

The Antigua and Barbuda police have reported that they are keeping watch on the fugitive jewellery tycoon Mehul Choksi as the county’s authorities will vet India’s request for him to be extradited to India to stand trial.

The Antigua and Barbuda police have reported that they are keeping watch on the fugitive jewellery tycoon Mehul Choksi - Gitanjali Gems- Facebook

The government of Antigua and Barbuda has confirmed Choksi’s continued residence in the country and assured that they are “aware of his whereabouts”. Choksi has yet to be detained for his alleged part in the over Rs 13,500 crore ($2 billion) fraud at the Punjab National Bank but Antiguan authorities have assured that they are monitoring his movements.

India’s envoy to Antigua Barbuda, V Mahalingham, was updated on Choksi’s situation in the country when he was in the capital St Johns’ last week, as reported in the Economic Times. Mahalingham acts as India’s envoy to the country and is also the Indian High Commissioner to Guyana.

Mahalingham visited St Johns’ on August 30 to meet with the country’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne and other senior government officials. Mahalingham took the opportunity to give authorities more documents to add to India’s request for Choksi’s extradition. Antiguan authorities will now review these documents.

As Choksi has successfully taken Antiguan citizenship, a possible extradition has been made more complex. However, the countries have agreed to work together to review the matter. Choksi has publicly stated that he does not wish to return to India as he fears a mob lynching for his alleged crimes.

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