New Delhi, Mar 9: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is probing multi-crore fraud in Punjab National Bank (PNB) and others, wrote another letter to prime accused Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi and asked them to join the investigation. In its letter, the CBI said it was not convinced by their excuses and that they are obliged to join the investigation.
The CBI said both Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi have not disclosed their location despite repeatedly being asked to do so. The letter comes hours after Choksi, promoter of Gitanjali Group expressed his inability to return to India citing health issues. He was summoned by the central agency to appear before it on March 7. He said he was travelling “abroad for my business” and had embarked on the journey before the probe agency filed an FIR against him.
In a seven-page letter in response to an emailed notice, Mehul Choksi said his passport was suspended because he was considered a “security threat to India”. Choksi said he was also “concerned about my health and well-being” because he feared he would be arrested and denied medical treatment at a hospital of his choice. The absconding businessmen said “my persisting health problem” won’t let him travel for another four to six months.
The CBI on Thursday said it will summon Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi again to join the investigation. A CBI official said the agency received separate emails from both the accused on Wednesday expressing their inability to return to India. He said the CBI had written to Nirav Modi and Choksi first on February 19 for an appearance on February 20. The second summon to Choksi was issued on February 23 asking him to appear on February 26. The agency then summoned both on February 28 to appear on March 7.
Meanwhile, the CBI on Thursday carried out searches at over eight locations of the officials of Choksi’s Gitanjali Group in Mumbai and Chennai. The agency has arrested over 19 persons so far in connection with the PNB fraud case. The Enforcement Directorate, separately probing the case, has attached properties of both the businessmen worth Rs 6,000 crore across the country.