New Delhi, July 24: Gitanjali Gems owner Mehul Choksi, a key accused in the multi-crore PNB scam has moved to Antigua from the United States and got a local passport, government sources claimed on Tuesday. If reports are to be believed, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has been informed by Antiguan authorities that Choksi arrived there this month and had taken the passport of that country.

The development comes a day after Choksi told a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court that he fears being lynched if he return to India to cooperate in the investigation of the fraud case involving him and celebrity jeweller Nirav Modi.  Choksi had also urged the court to cancel non-bailable warrants issued against him, citing health issues.

In an application moved before the special PMLA court, Choksi yesterday claimed that he faces a threat to his life not only from his former employees and debtors but also from jail staff and inmates (where he would be launched if he returns).

“There have been various cases of mob lynching in India. This recent trend of mob lynching and general public giving justice on the road is growing. Even the applicant faces a similar threat as there are several persons who have grievances and anger against him (Choksi),” his application read.

Notably, Choksi had fled the country in the first week of January, weeks before country’s biggest banking fraud came to light.