Mehul Choksi confirmed in Antigua, extradition process will start soon
It has been confirmed by Antiguan authorities that the jewellery tycoon Mehul Choksi has taken citizenship of the country and is currently residing there after fleeing India before news of the scandal broke.
The Press Trust of India reported that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) received a communication from Antiguan authorities confirming Choksi’s residence in the country. The communication came after the CBI made a probe to check whether Choksi was indeed in Antigua after news that he was surfaced. Now that this is confirmed, Indian authorities can start the process of requesting Choksi’s extradition to India to stand trial.
Choksi is now an Antiguan citizen and took the country’s oath of allegiance on January 15, just one day before the fraud scandal was reported in the press. He had previously taken citizenship in November 2017, which suggests that his moves were pre-meditated. Choksi is accused of colluding with his nephew and fellow jeweller Nirav Modi to de-fraud the Punjab National Bank (PNB) to the tune of Rs 13,400 crore ($2 billion), perhaps the largest scale fraud in India’s banking history.
An extradition request is now likely to be moved through the External Affairs Ministry and may be done so even before a Red Corner Notice is issued against Choksi. It has proved difficult to issue such a notice thus far and Choksi’s lawyer has consistently stated that he fears a mob lynching should be return to India.
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