MEA asks Antiguan authorities to detain Choksi


New  Delhi

After Indian probe agencies learnt about the likely presence of fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi in Antigua, India has requested the local government to prevent him from leaving the country. The request has been communicated verbally and in writing, the MEA said on Monday.

“As soon as MEA received info of likely presence of Mehul Choksi in Antigua, Indian envoy alerted the local govt, in writing and verbally, to confirm his presence in their territory and detain him and prevent his movement by land, air or sea,” the ministry said.

The Indian High Commissioner in Antigua will be meeting relevant local authorities today in connection with the MEA request. The MEA is liaising with relevant Indian agencies and the Government of Antigua & Barbuda to follow up on this matter.

Choksi, whose passport was revoked in February, is wanted in the PNB fraud case. He has been charged under the relevant sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The Indian Express last week reported that Choksim who has taken Antiguan citizenship, has left the Caribbean country. The CBI had written to concerned authorities in Antigua to provide details of Choksi’s whereabouts after Antiguan authorities officially released a statement about Choksi getting a citizenship in January this year, just before the PNB scam was made public.

Choksi had applied for Antiguan citizenship in November 2017 and took the oath of citizenship on January 15, 2018. He had left India on January 7. His companies had approached Punjab National Bank (PNB) for fresh letters of undertaking (LoUs) to be issued on January 16. When PNB found that earlier LoUs had been fraudulently issued and the companies had massive outstanding loans, it approached CBI.


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