New Delhi, July 27: Days after the Interpol authorities informed India about that Gitanjali Gems owner Mehul Choksi moved to Antigua from the United States (US) and got a local passport, probe agencies investigating the muti-crore PNB scam have claimed that the uncle of fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi has left Antigua for another country which is yet to be known. While speaking to a daily, an left Antigua officer who was involved in the probe claimed that Choksi was not in Antigua anymore however they are trying to ascertain about his whereabouts.
Notably, the development came days after the CBI wrote a letter to Antiguan authorities seeking details regarding his whereabouts. Following the letter, the the Antigua Government had indicated that it may consider “a legitimate request” from India to send back Choksi.
The Daily Observer today quoted a Cabinet press briefing issued by the Chief of Staff, Lionel “Max” Hurst, to state that Antigua and Barbuda government will make every effort as per law to honour a “legitimate” request from India.
The issue of Choksi, a fugitive from India involved in an alleged banking scam worth over USD 2 billion, getting citizenship in Antigua in November last year was discussed in a Cabinet meeting of Antigua and Barbuda government, the newspaper had said.
Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate has moved to a Special court in Mumbai seeking to declare Nirav Modi and his uncle Choksi ‘fugitive economic offenders’ which will enable them to seize their assets in India.
Nirav Modi and Choksi are being investigated by the ED and the CBI after it was detected that they allegedly cheated the Punjab National Bank of more than Rs 13,400 crore with purported involvement of a few of the lender’s employees. The scam, which reportedly began in 2011, was detected in January this year, after which PNB officials reported it to the probe agencies.
Choksi and Modi fled the country in January this year nearly a fortnight before the scam was detected.
(With agency inputs)