Mehul Choksi is needed in India within the Rs. 13,500 crore Punjab Nationwide Financial institution (PNB) rip-off.

New York: 

Fugitive billionaire Mehul Choksi is a “criminal” and “provides no worth to our nation”, mentioned the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda the place the diamond dealer has taken citizenship. Antigua – among the many many tax havens within the Caribbean – has no extradition treaty with India. The Prime Minister mentioned that the businessman shall be extradited to India, saying that it was Indian officers who gave him clearance initially.

“I can guarantee you that he shall be finally deported after exhausting all his appeals. He shall be extradited again to India to face no matter prices towards him. It’s only a matter of time,” Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda informed information company ANI in New York.

Mehul Choksi – needed in India within the Rs. 13,500 crore Punjab Nationwide Financial institution rip-off – was granted citizenship within the Caribbean nation in January 2018.

Mr Browne additionally mentioned that it’s “unlucky” that Choksi was cleared by Indian officers as an individual in “good standing” solely to be informed later that he’s a “criminal”.

“In any case, our officers acted based mostly on the knowledge from India and made him a citizen… the Indian officers need to take the duty for that state of affairs,” the Antigua Prime Minister mentioned.

“Acquired subsequent data that Mehul Choksi is a criminal, he doesn’t add worth to our nation. He shall be deported finally after he exhausts appeals. Indian officers are free to analyze based mostly on his willingness to take part,” Mr Browne informed ANI. “They’ll come and in the event that they want to interview Choksi based mostly on his willingness to take part, it has nothing to do with my authorities,” he added.

q7euh15o_gaston-browne-ani_625x300_26_September_19 Mehul Choksi Was Cleared By Indian Officers, "Unlucky": Antigua PM

“He (Mehul Choksi) brings no worth to Antigua Barbuda,” mentioned Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

Mehul Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi left India in January final yr, weeks earlier than the fraud that got here to be often called PNB rip-off surfaced. Six months later, it grew to become recognized that he had taken Antigua citizenship. The method was accomplished two months earlier than the rip-off surfaced in February and he was investigated, which was why when Antigua requested India to provide particulars of instances towards him, he received a clear chit.

Mehul Choksi, 59, had refused to return to India, saying he fears “mob lynching”. The Enforcement Directorate, which moved a particular Prevention of Cash Laundering Act court docket in Mumbai to get Mehul Choksi declared a fugitive financial offender, has accused the diamantaire of fleeing the nation to keep away from arrest.

India had cancelled the passports of each Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi in February, after investigators uncovered the large mortgage fraud at PNB. Nirav Modi was arrested on March 20 in UK and has been in a jail within the UK, one of many largest prisons in Western Europe.

On June 17, he had submitted an affidavit within the Bombay Excessive Court docket, stating that he’s residing in Antigua and was keen to co-operate within the investigation into the PNB rip-off.

Final month, his lawyer informed the excessive court docket that Mehul Choksi can’t submit his medical reviews in Mumbai, as directed earlier, as a result of his physician in Antigua has refused to deal with him “resulting from some purpose”.

(With inputs from ANI)

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