Will Antigua Hand Over Wanted Indian Diamantaire Choksi?

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The Indian government is not backing down from efforts to extradite and apprehend the masterminds of the $2 billion Punjab National Bank, (PNB), scam, diamantaires Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi.

With Choksi still in Antigua, the pressure is on the government there to decide on his extradition. On August 30th, Indian High Commissioner, Venkatachalam Mahalingam, met Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne to press the case again for extradition on the heels of a formal request weeks prior.

Now reports indicate Antigua Attorney General, Steadroy Benjamin, is set to discuss the possible extradition of Choksi with the country’s Director of Public Prosecutions, (DPP).

Choksi became a citizen of Antigua & Barbuda in November 2017 under the country’s Citizenship by Investment Program, (CIP). He reportedly took the oath of allegiance on January 15th, according to local newspaper Antigua Observer but only arrived there after fleeing India and the US, in July.

Since then the pressure and the international spotlight has been on Antigua to deliver Choksi back to Indian authorities to answer for his alleged crimes. The question now, is will they hand him over and save the country and the CIP program the embarrassment or will they shield their new citizen from the Indian law? The answer is left to be seen.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Exactly if this man a fraud why dont they revoke his passport and get him outta here? What are we losing by keeping this man?

  2. PRESSURE?

    There is;
    (i) …No pressure; and
    (ii) …Nothing to discuss.
    (iii) …Request channeled through Ministry of Legal Affairs;
    (Attorney General may advise the Government, but can
    give no directions, whether general or specific to the DPP).

    (iv) …DPP to represent Indian Government in the proceedings.

    What obtains:

    (a) …Considerations to extradition offence or likely ‘…political persecution
    fair trial and severity of punishment’ in Requesting State [Extradition
    Act: No.12 of 1993:Section 8].
    (b)…DPP receives relevant documentation on formal Request from
    Foreign Minister (E. P. Chet Greene), through Ministry of Legal Affairs;
    (c) …DPP requests Commissioner for an assigned officer ‘ONLY’ to
    arrest fugitive on Provisional Warrant [Section 10].
    (d) …Foreign Minister issues ‘Authority to Proceed;
    (e) …Preliminary formalities completed when officer hand over fugitive
    to the Court in presence of DPP.
    (f) …Arrangements made for commencement of hearing.
    (g) …Bail/remand arises.
    (h) …Determinations by the Magistrate.
    (i) …If no remand, stringent conditionalities, including surrendering
    travel documents/house arrest/reporting to Police Station at specified times.

    Except to consider stipulations in ‘…Section 8,’ failed to see insurmountable difficulties.

  3. The embarrassment is on the Indian Gov. Choksi managed to get a positive due diligence check and after the required monies were paid, was issued an Antiguan passport. The Antigua gov is not to blame, nor does it have to be embarrassed. Also, India does not allow dual citizenship so Mr. Choksi in all likelihood has lost his by becoming Antiguan. Two good reasons why he’s here to stay. Go bully somewhere else India and look into your own kitchen before you accuse others.

  4. The government does not decided who get extradited. It is the court that make that decision. Why does this article give the people the wrong education. The government has already said they will work with the Indian government. The case is laid before the DPP to study it on its merit and see if the government can take this to court. If the DPP thinks that the case cannot go to court than the story ends right their if he does and wins the case then Choksi can appeal and this can go on for many years up to the CCJ. If Choksi was not an Antiguan Citizen than this was a simple case. We just pronounce you persona non-grata and you are out. O if he was charged with a crime such as murder.

Comments are closed.