Mehul Choksi, named along with Nirav Modi in the Rs 12,700-crore alleged fraud at Punjab National Bank, has written to Indian investigators that he will join the probe once the suspension of his passport is revoked.
The promoter of Gitanjali Gems Ltd. wrote to the Enforcement Directorate on Feb. 26 that he has been communicating with passport authorities to have the passport restored. BloombergQuint obtained a copy of the letter he sent in response to ED’s summons.
Choksi also said his lawyer will provide information sought by the agency.
I have been facing various security issues in view of the media/newspaper reports. As your good office has stated that I may appear in person or through an authorized agent, in view of the same, I request that any further communication be addressed to my advocate.Mehul Choksi’s Letter To ED Dated Feb. 26
Choksi’s reply is similar to what Modi said in his response to the Enforcement Directorate. Investigators, including the Central Bureau of Investigation, want them to join the probe into India’s largest banking fraud. The two, and their companies, borrowed loans overseas allegedly through fraudulent guarantees they obtained from PNB in cahoots with some of the bank employees. A special court has issued non-bailable warrants against them and at least 19 executives of their companies and the bank have been arrested so far.
The government suspended passports of Modi and Choksi after they failed to appear before investigating agencies after multiple summons.
Choksi wrote he got to know about the summons to appear before the agency on Feb. 22 through media reports. He was travelling abroad and had informed the directorate on Feb. 21 about his inability to appear because his passport was suspended on Feb. 16, he said.
In a similar letter to CBI dated March 7, Choksi said, “In case I am arrested, then I would not be able to get proper healthcare and would be provided treatment only in a government hospital.” He said he had a cardiac procedure in the first week of February and there is still pending work. Since it’s incomplete, he cannot travel for another four to six months, Choksi said.
The special court, set up under the money laundering act, has already accepted the investigating agency’s plea to issue letters rogatory to 13 countries seeking help in investigations. These include Belgium, Malaysia, Armenia, France, China, Japan, Russia, the U.S., the U.K., Hong Kong, the UAE, South Africa and Singapore.