New Delhi, News24 Bureau, June 25: There is bad news in store for fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi as the Antiguan government has decided to revoke his citizenship; which means that he will be sent back to India.
Mehul Choksi will soon be extradited to India and India has been demanding this for long.Antiguan PM Gaston Browne in a statement said, "His citizenship was processed; he got through but the reality is his citizenship will be revoked and he will be repatriated to India; so there is recourse. It’s not a case that we are trying to provide any safe harbour for criminals, for those who are involved in financial crimes."Choksi is the key accused in the Punjab National Bank fraud and he fled to Antigua in 2018 to escape arrest."Choksi's citizenship was processed, he got through. We do have recourse, the reality is that his citizenship will be revoked and he will be deported to India," the PM has said,"Presently the matter is before the court, so we have to allow for due process. We have conveyed to the Indian government that criminals also have fundamental rights and Choksi has a right to go to court to defend his position. But I can assure you after he has exhausted all of his legal options, he will be extradited," added the Antiguan Prime Minister.
Mehul Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are the two main accused in the bank fraud case and are wanted by major investigating agencies of the world.Uncle-nephew duo is wanted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for allegedly defrauding the Punjab National Bank (PNB) to the tune of Rs 13,400 crore.
Indian investigative agencies ED and CBI have sent across documents to authorities in that country to peruse and send back Choksi to India, accused in the USD 2 billion PNB fraud case along with his nephew Nirav Modi and others.Earlier Nirav Modi was arrested by the London police as part of a similar extradition request India sent against him to the United Kingdom authorities.
Citing his medical condition he wanted to continue staying in India:Earlier the fugitive diamantaire had said that due to his medical treatment he cannot go back to India.The ED then told the Bombay High Court that it was ready to provide an air ambulance to bring diamantaire, Mehul Choksi.Choksi told the high court that he left India due to his medical treatment and did not have any intention to escape prosecution in the case. He had assured the court that he would return to India as soon as he is medically fit to travel.In a counter affidavit filed before the court a couple of days back, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said Choksi's submission appeared to be "facades being erected merely to mislead the court". The probe agency added:"The ED conducts investigations in a very fair and professional manner. It may be appreciated that taking a humanitarian approach, they are ready to provide an expert medical team along with air ambulance to bring Choksi from Antigua to India under proper medical supervision."