Indian man allegedly wanted for fraud is Antigua CIP citizen

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A number of media houses in India are reporting that diamond trader Mehul Choksi, wanted for bank fraud along with his nephew Nirav Modi is in possession of an Antigua and Barbuda passport.

The Citizenship by Investment Unit confirmed that the applicant obtained citizenship under the programme earlier this year.

The Times of Indian is reporting that the two men and their families skipped the country in January this year — a fortnight before the huge fraud at the Punjab National Bank surfaced.

According to reports, Investigation agencies have been on the lookout for them since. Nirav Modi is said to be in Brussels, the capital of Belgium.

Non-bailable warrants were issued against them, after which the Interpol issued a “red corner” notice – close to an international arrest warrant.

It is reported that after another Interpol notice, the Antiguan authorities informed the Enforcement Directorate that Mehul Choksi arrived there this month and has taken the passport of that country.

Last month, Centre’s probe agency Enforcement Directorate told a Mumbai court that both should be declared as “fugitive economic offenders” and their assets worth Rs. 3,500 crore (or USD 12,950,731,500), spread across India, UK and United Arab Emirates, confiscated.

Mehul Choksi has reportedly refused to return to India, saying he would be killed by mobs if he was brought back.

Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi came under the radar of Central investigation agencies after Punjab Bank officials found they allegedly cheated the bank of more than Rs. 13,400 crore (or USD 49,582,800,600) over seven years with the connivance of some of the employees.

Antigua Newsroom reached out the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) here for a comment.

The unit said after extensive vetting, Mehul Choksi was granted citizenship by registration in November 2017 but refused to comment further on the article which we forwarded to them.

The CIU added that Mr. Choksi’s application was subject to, “Robust due diligence international
investigation, which is conducted on each principal applicant and dependent, by reputable agencies, including the International Criminal Police Organization and the CARICOM Implementing Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS).”

“The 2017 investigation revealed no derogatory information about Mr. Choksi. The CIU also confirms that on 15th January, 2018 Mr. Choksi swore the Oath of Allegiance in Antigua, a requirement under the provisions of the Citizenship by Investment Act.”

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25 COMMENTS

  1. Just another sore eye for Antigua….another criminal with our passport and of course the necessary due diligence was done. I am even more convinced that the risks of selling passports far outweigh the monies that we received from such an undertaking. I strongly suggest that this CIP be stopped so that the good name of Antigua & Barbuda is not dragged further in the mud.

    • At the time he applied for the passport and the due diligence was done, he had not yet committed the crime. So he was clean. Perhaps with the passport in hand he thought he now could do the crime.
      He’ll find that was foolish

      • The alleged perpetrators of the crime had not been discovered but the crime took place over a period of time prior to this. Nevertheless it is unfortunate that he picked A&B to buy a second passport.

      • I am so shocked to see how some people tried to simplify this whole passport for sale issue. On personal wrote “just revoke his passport not addressing that damage has already been done and that it’s totally unfair to the birthright citizens to be selling our passport. We need to look at this problem for what it’s worth and call
        a spade.

    • I am not sure that Antigua & Barbuda’s name can be dragged any further into the mud; but what I do know is that Passports should not be sold they should y earned. It’s not fair to the birthright citizens that our sovereign rights are being shared with people we don’t even know and have never made any contribution to this nation. Anything y that has derived from the sale of passport is secondary.

    • It is illegal to sell your passport I hope the police IT Unit investigate you. Should you report your passport lost or stolen in the future I hope the authorities take note of your advertisement and apply the appropriate measure.

  2. Can they please……… for crying out loud STOP SELLING OUR PASSPORT. Me tired now can’t tek this abuse no more. I cry for my country.

    • They really should stop the selling of passports. It should be earned. It’s unpatriotic, not to mention also discriminative, elitism, f-ery and a whole list of wrong.

  3. Call: 268 4 PASSPORT
    Mine you can get for USD$50k
    I might as well try to make some money too.

    • It is illegal to sell your passport I hope the police IT Unit investigate you. Should you report your passport lost or stolen in the future I hope the authorities take note of your advertisement and apply the appropriate measure.

  4. Looks like the fraud he committed was trying to pass as Antiguan citizen when he’s really an Antiguan bitter ball Turkey !!!! Lmaoooo he looks stuffed !!! Smh

  5. Thanks alp gaston thanks again …gaston u and robin are probably the only two people benefiting monthly from this country so u guys dont give a dam …your enrichment policy is working ask Michael Browne

  6. And poor me…been in Antigua from I was young went to primary, secondary, ASC and first year undergrad UWI. Went away to finish studying and due to medical reasons of my mother I had to stay out the country for two years as a Foreigner. Then I was refused to get a passport even though my application was in. Donkey said the world not level.

  7. When this administration is through with Antigua, we will have no money in our treasury, no infrastructure in our country, no food to maintain our hungry, no integrity in the international community. Dogs will be better than we (are)!

  8. Antiguan Barbudans Last Party strikes again.
    Another day another international scandal another high flying scamp
    Asot must be laughing now
    Buy one passport and get one free
    No wonder Canada dumped us
    No wonder no investors coming they don’t want their brands associated with corruption and skullduggery
    The EU and England will be imposing visa restrictions on us next
    Gaston and labour is one big joke , a circus of clowns that attract criminals

  9. How much of this the native born of Antiguans and Barbudans can take? Enough is enough!! The CIP program need to be killed and done with. It is giving my nation a bad name. I don’t believed in the selling of my nation passport.
    There are other ways of making revenue. Reinstalled the PIT for those in high paying bracket earning $4000.00 a month upward, and increase the tax on transferring money out of ANU. Million of dollars transferred out of Antigua and Barduda monthly.

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