New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday offered to provide an air ambulance and a team of medical experts to bring back fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi from Antigua. The central agency assured to provide him with all the necessary treatment in India. Slamming the affidavit filed by Choksi as a ‘facade’, the ED’s counter-affidavit read: “The medical reasons and conditions appear to be facades being erected merely to mislead the court in an obvious attempt to delay the lawful proceedings. We are ready to provide an expert medical team along with an AIR ambulance to bring him from Antigua to India under medical supervision.”
The central agency further stated that Choksi has never cooperated in the investigation into the Rs 13,000 crore PNB scam. Notably, ED stated that Choksi has wrongly claimed that his assets worth Rs 6129 crore have been seized, while the central agency has attached assets worth Rs 2100 crore assets. The ED also maintained that the fugitive diamantaire was trying to sell all his assets before fleeing from India.
Choksi was reportedly given several opportunities to join the probe but he evaded questioning. The ED stated, “He (Mehul 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.”
Meanwhile, Choksi said that he will travel to India as soon as he is medically fit. “I am ready to undergo any medical examination by an authority to prove the veracity of the claims made by me,” he added. The fugitive diamantaire dismissed the allegations made by ED that he is not joining the probe.
Choksi and nephew Nirav Modi are key accused in the PNB fraud case. They fled the country a year ago. The scam is estimated at USD two billion. Choksi was granted citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda on January 15, 2018. On March 22, Choksi had moved an application before the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court, stating his long history of heart ailment and a blood clot in the brain as the reason for not being able to appear before it.
(With inputs from ANI)