PNB Scam: Fugitive Mehul Choksi Caught In Dominica; Will Be Repatriated To India

by Shatakshi Gupta
Mehul Choksi caught in Dominica

Punjab National Bank scam accused, fugitive diamond trader Mehul Choksi has been arrested in Dominica. The Antigua media claimed in its report that the 62-year-old economic offender was on the run from Cuba to Dominica, during which he was caught by the law enforcement agency. According to sources, he had reached Dominica via boat from Antigua and Barbuda.

Mehul went missing from Antigua and Barbuda 3 days ago. After this, Interpol issued a yellow notice against him. Later this notice was also retained by the Government of Antigua. Ensuing which his search was carried on.

Also read: PNB Scam Case: UK Court Allows Extradition Of Nirav Modi

 Local media reports from Dominica said that the fugitive was caught on Tuesday night. However, he has been arrested or detained for questioning, which is not clear yet. Dominican Police will now hand over him to the Antigua and Barbuda administration after the legal formalities.

Will be handed over to India: PM of Antigua

Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne said, “ we have asked the Dominica government to take him into custody. He has entered the country illegally. He should be directly handed over to India.”

However, the Government of Dominica has decided to hand over the offender to the Government of Antigua. After this, the Prime Minister of Antigua said that now Antigua will hand over the offender directly to India.

What does Mehul’s lawyer say?

 Mehul Choksi’s lawyer Vijay Aggarwal said that I have spoken to his family, and they are happy after knowing his whereabouts. Choksi’s family is relieved after getting his information.  He also that attempts are being made to talk to Mehul to find out how he was taken to Dominica.

He was missing from Antigua

A day ago it was reported that the Choksi has gone missing from Antigua-Barbuda. According to the media there, the police was searching for Mehul since Sunday. He was last seen in his car at 5.15 pm on Sunday. His car was found, but the Mehul could not be found. The police had also told his lawyer about this, but he too did not respond.

Mehul is now a citizen of Antigua

Mehul Choksi, accused of the Rs 14,500 crore PNB scam had fled abroad in January 2018. It was later revealed that he had taken Antigua-Barbuda citizenship in 2017itself. Agencies investigating the PNB scam, like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) are trying to extradite him.

Om several occasions, he refused to appear in India citing health reasons. Sometimes he is produced through video conferencing. Many of his properties in India have also been attached.

Extradition of his nephew Nirav has been approved

 The main accused in this scam is Nirav Modi, nephew of Mehul, who is currently lodged in a London jail. The court and the government there have also approved his extradition. But Nirav has challenged the extradition decision in the High Court of London.  It may take 10 to 12 months for the High Court to decide on this matter.