India Offers To Send Air Ambulance For Choksi


(Business Today)

The Enforcement Director (ED) on Saturday rejected fugitive diamond merchant Mehul Choksi’s request to question him in Antigua in the ongoing probe into Rs 13,700 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud. The maternal uncle of Nirav Modi, the main accused in the PNB fraud, has claimed he is undergoing treatment in the Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda. He has been living in this country since 2018 after fleeing from India. He acquired its citizenship a month before the CBI unearthed the PNB scam in January 2018. In an affidavit submitted in the High Court of Judicature in Mumbai on Monday, Choksi said he was willing to co-operate in the investigation but refused to travel to India citing bad health. He said he was willing to appear before a special court and investigating agencies through video conferencing.

The ED, submitting an affidavit in the Mumbai court on Saturday, said since a non-bailable warrant and red corner notice had been issued against Choksi, he is “a fugitive and an absconder”, and that his plea should be dismissed. The agency said Choksi had never cooperated in the probe process. The agency also told the court it was ready to provide him with an air ambulance with medical experts to bring him back to India.

“He [Choksi] never cooperated in the investigation. A non-bailable warrant was issued against him. A red notice was issued by the Interpol. He has refused to return, he is, therefore, a fugitive and an absconder,” the ED said, he would be given all the required medical treatment after his extradition to India. The ED urged the court to give him a specific deadline, preferably a month, to return to India. On the claims of the seizure of his assets worth Rs 6,129 crore, the ED told the court that contrary to Choksi’s claims, it had seized assets worth Rs 2,100 crore only.

Choksi, in his affidavit, had refuted accusations by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ED that he was not ready to join the probe in the PNB fraud case. He said the agencies could question him in Antigua. Claiming there was no direct flight between Antigua and India, he said even his doctors had advised him not to take 41-hour flight due to his medical condition. “I am currently residing in Antigua and willing to co-operate in the investigation. If the court may deem it fit, it may direct the investigating officer to travel to Antigua,” Choksi said in his statement. Earlier this month, the ED stated before the Bombay High Court that Choksi was a “fugitive and absconder”, wanted in the PNB scam.

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  1. Let’s see if he leaves Antigua via boat and disappear, with his serious medical condition that prevents him from flying but allows him to sail.

    This man should be arrested already and in the safe custody of law enforcement.

    I suggest he be held in the same sell with the English rapist.

  2. Choksi is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. At this point, the only thing the India government is throwing at him is allegations. FYI, the government of India is known to be one of the most corrupt in the world, and they have also been known to make false allegations against political enemies. Choksi is also a full citizen of Antigua, as the formal allegations made against him by India were made AFTER he was granted Antiguan citizenship. Letting the courts sort this out via proper due process is the right approach.

      • Forbes is all innocent until he is proven guilty.

        Hopes he gets bail and becomes your neighbour.

        Then what? The man is innocent…

        • I don’t care where he lives, as long as he doesn’t trespass on my property (at which point he would need to deal with me directly)… right now I have the worst possible neighbor on the island, The Royalton Antigua.

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