New Delhi: Fugitive diamond jeweller Mehul Chinubbhai Choksi, who is under probe by both the CBI and ED for a multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, will have to come to India if he wants to know about the cases and allegations that have been filed against him, the Enforcement Directorate told Interpol on Monday.
ED’s statement came a few days after Choksi wrote to Interpol and demanded to know the cases and allegations against him in connection with the PNB scam. Responding to Choksi’s requests, Interpol wrote to ED seeking permission to share the prosecution complaint against the accused.
However, earlier this month, the ED had asked Interpol not to share any details with Choksi. The ED had in fact requested Interpol to ask him to approach the court in Mumbai where the chargesheet against him has been filed.
Speaking to The Indian Express, a senior official said, “Why is he asking for case details from the Interpol? The chargesheet against him has been filed in a special court in Mumbai. As an accused, he has full right to seek a copy from the court. He is making such demands from the Interpol periodically with the sole purpose of delaying issuance of the Red Notice against him.”
It should be noted that the agency hasn’t yet issued a Red Notice against Choksi. The governments of Antigua and Barbuda, where Choksi has secured a citizenship, had made it clear that it wouldn’t restrict the said accused’s movements even under a Red Notice. Last month, Antigua had however said that it will extradite the fugitive jewellery merchant as soon as the legal formalities are over.
Last month, Mehul Choksi had released two videos in which he held Punjab National Bank (PNB) responsible for misinforming the investigation agencies and said it was unprecedented how his company closed down within a week without a thorough investigation.
Speaking from Antigua and giving his version of the case, Choksi said, “…my bank account was frozen and my server was seized, the company came to a complete standstill then. I solely hold PNB responsible for misinforming the agencies.” Choksi further alleged that when he asked PNB why his name was involved, the bank said that his name was in old KYC of 95 or 93 and so “they carried on”.
“On around January 29, the PNB complained that they detected fraud in their branch for three companies which were Nirav Modi‘s companies…They (agencies) started raiding our company because of the misinformation by PNB…I had retired from this company in 2000. They misinformed the agencies and I asked the PNB to look into the matter, but they recalled all my facilities (three companies)”