Home In the Spotlight PNB fraud: India requests Antigua and Barbuda govt to detain Mehul Choksi

PNB fraud: India requests Antigua and Barbuda govt to detain Mehul Choksi

Georgetown High Commission has alerted the A&B govt. to confirm Choksi’s presence and detain him, says a source.

The Indian High Commission in Antigua and Barbuda had asked the authorities there to stop billionaire diamond trader Mehul Choksi from travelling around the world, sources said on Monday.

“As soon as the MEA [Ministry of External Affairs] received information of the likely presence of Mehul Choksi in Antigua, our High Commission in Georgetown had alerted the A&B [Antigua and Barbuda] government, in writing and verbally, to confirm his presence in their territory and detain him and prevent his movement by land, air or sea,” said the sources.

India will hold talks with Antigua and Barbuda about Choksi’s future on Monday as the MEA and other government agencies continue coordinated actions regarding the case, the sources said. The government of the island nation had indicated that it will try to “honour” India’s request to send back Choksi even though there is no bilateral extradition treaty between both countries.

“We continue to liaise with relevant Government of India agencies and the Government of Antigua & Barbuda to follow up on this matter,” said the sources.

Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are wanted in the billion dollar bank fraud involving several public sector banks. Choksi was granted an Antiguan passport in the winter of 2017, three months before the scam came to light.

The MEA had revoked the passports of Modi and Choksi in February to prevent the duo from travelling around the world. However, news reports have hinted that both Modi and Choksi have been travelling.