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‘Not Interested in Mehul Choksi, Adds No Value to Country’: Antigua PM Says Fugitive Diamantaire Will be Extradited

 

New Delhi: Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne have assured that fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi will be extradited after he exhausts all his appeals in the country.

“I can assure you that he will be ultimately deported after exhausting all his appeals. He will be extradited back to India to face whatever charges against him. It is just a matter of time,” Browne told news agency ANI.

He added that the country is not interested in having Choksi as he adds no value to it and said Indian authorities could come to Antigua and Barbuda to interrogate the PNB scam accused.

Browne also called it “unfortunate” that Choksi was cleared by Indian officials as a person in “good standing” and the country was later informed that he is a “crook”. “Indian officials will have to take responsibility for that situation,” he added.

Choksi, his nephew diamantaire Nirav Modi and others are being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and other probe agencies in the Punjab National Bank fraud case.

The fraud came to light early last year after a complaint by PNB that the accused allegedly cheated it to the tune of over Rs 13,000 crore, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank. The CBI and the ED have registered two FIRs each to probe the case.

Both Choksi and Modi left the country before criminal cases were lodged against them.

Choksi is at present based in the Caribbean nation of Antigua. India has sought his extradition from that country and an Interpol arrest warrant has also been issued against him.