Mehul Choksi gives up Indian citizenship to avoid extradition
Fugitive jewellery tycoon Mehul Choksi has surrendered his Indian citizenship and passport to the Indian High Commission in a move to avoid extradition from Antigua to stand trial in India.
As part of the ongoing Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case involving Gitanjali Group’s Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi, Choksi has made a new move to avoid returning to India to stand trial for his accused fraud, as reported by ET Online.
After taking citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda via the investment route in November 2017 before news of the fraud broke in early 2018, Choksi then cited fears for his life as a reason why he could not return to India.
Choksi subsequently cited ill health as a reason not to return to India and Indian authorities have been in ongoing discussions with Antiguan authorises to try and secure his extradition since.
However, now Choksi has renounced his Indian citizenship, an extradition arrangement may prove harder as India and Antigua do not have an extradition treaty. ET Online reported that Indian authorities had objected to Choksi holding dual citizenship but Choksi’s decision to renounce his Indian citizenship can be seen as a move to avoid extradition.
A Red Corner Notice (RCN) has been issued against Choksi but the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) which had led Antiguan authorities to agree to work with Indian authorities on the extradition.
However, in lieu of Choksi’s renunciation of his Indian citizenship, talks may prove more difficult.
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