India formally requests extradition of Choksi

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India has handed over a request to Antigua for extradition of fugitive diamond trader Mehul Choksi, who has obtained citizenship of the Caribbean nation.

Official sources said a team from India was sent to Antigua few days back to persuade the authorities there to extradite Choksi.

“The team met the Foreign Ministry officials of the island nation on Saturday and handed over the request to extradite Mr. Choksi to India,” an official source said.

Mr. Choksi is one of the alleged masterminds of the ₹13,700-crore scam in the public sector Punjab National Bank and is an uncle of co-accused diamantaire Nirav Modi. He is wanted in India by the CBI and Enforcement Directorate probing the fraud, the biggest banking scam in the country.

As per reports, Antiguan authorities cleared his citizenship in November 2017 after India did not give any adverse report to stall his application. Mr. Choksi fled India on January 4 this year and took oath of allegiance in Antigua on January 15.

The CBI had sent its request for extradition to the Ministry of External Affairs.

Mr. Choksi’s application for citizenship in Antigua in May 2017 was accompanied by clearance from the local police, Antiguan newspaper the Daily Observerreported, citing a statement from the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) of Antigua and Barbuda.

SEBI still probing his market violations

Markets regulator SEBI never gave any clean chit report on fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi to Antigua’s citizenship-for-investment authority, a senior official said on Sunday.

The regulator is continuing with its probe into alleged violation of capital market regulations by Mehul Choksi-Nirav Modi duo and their associates including some brokers in connection with two listed firms — PNB and Gitanjali Gems, the official added. The regulator will now consider sending notices for Mr. Choksi to Antigua as the absconding businessman and Gitanjali Gems promoter has been granted a citizenship there.

Last week, an Antiguan media report quoted the Caribbean country’s Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) as saying that Choksi was granted citizenship there last year after a background check on him got ‘no adverse report’ from Indian authorities, including police, passport office and the SEBI.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. First have to revoke his passport, because you just cannot deport an Antiguan citizen without due process
    That is why King is still here fighting his extradition in court after years

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