Mehul Choksi, who has been named in the FIR in the PNB scam, is the Managing Director of ‘Gitanjali Gems’. (Source: PTI)

Mehul Choksi Moves To Antigua, Gets Local Passport

Fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi has moved to Antigua from the United States and taken a passport of the Caribbean country, government sources said.

In response to diffusion notice issued by Interpol, the Enforcement Directorate has been informed by Antiguan authorities that Choksi arrived there this month and had taken the passport of that country, they said.

Choksi had fled the country in the first week of January, nearly a fortnight before weeks before country’s biggest banking fraud surfaced. The CBI has booked Choksi, uncle of his alleged partner in crime Nirav Modi, in two cases related to the scam and filed charge sheet against him. A special court in Mumbai has issued a Non-Bailable Warrant against him.

Armed with the warrant, the CBI moved the Interpol for the issuance of a Red Corner Notice against the Gitanjali group promoter, who is one of the masterminds behind the $2 billion banking fraud in the Punjab National Bank, but it is still under process. On this basis, a request for Red Corner Notice was moved in June.

Also read: Enforcement Directorate Moves Court Seeking Fugitive Offender Tag Against Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi

While the RCN has been issued against Nirav Modi and his brother Nishal by the Interpol, the request for such a notice against Choksi is pending with the Lyon-based international police cooperation agency, they said.

The issuance of the RCN would mean that the member countries of the Lyon-based international police cooperation agency can arrest and extradite him.

The CBI, in its charge sheets filed on May 14, had alleged that Nirav Modi, through his companies, siphoned off funds to the tune of Rs 6,498.20 crore using fraudulent letters of undertaking issued from PNB's Brady House branch in Mumbai. Choksi allegedly swindled Rs 7,080.86 crore, making it possibly the biggest banking scam in the country, it had alleged.