New Delhi: Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne on Wednesday called Mehul Choksi, one of the accused and the uncle of main accused Nirav Modi, in the USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, a ‘crook’, whom Indian officials are free to investigate him.
Earlier this year, too, he had said that his country will revoke Choksi’s citizenship once he has exhausted all his appeals.
Speaking to news agency ANI, he said, “Got subsequent information that Mehul Choksi is a crook, he doesn’t add value to our country. He will be deported ultimately after he exhausts appeals, Indian officials are free to investigate based on his willingness to participate.”
The Antiguan Prime Minister further said that it was unfortunate that Choksi was cleared by the Indian officials as a ‘person with good standing.’ He added that Indian officials will have to take responsibility for the current situation.
Both Choksi and Modi fled the country last year. While the former, on January 15, 2018, was granted the citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda, the latter was located in London, where he is currently under judicial custody, with a court having extended the same to October 17.
Last year, Choksi, speaking on the scam for the first time, Choksi released two videos in which he claimed to be ‘innocent’ and said that the allegations against him were ‘false and baseless.’
Separately, in an application filed in a Mumbai anti-corruption court in June 2018, he urged the court to cancel the non-bailable warrants (NBW) issued against him. This, the fugitive businessman explained, was because he cannot come to India due to ‘recent incidents of mob lynching there.’