By SM .25 May, 2021
Fugitive diamond trader Mehul Choksi, who along with his nephew Nirav Modi is accused of allegedly perpetrating a bank fraud of Rs 13600 crore on Punjab National Bank (PNB), is missing from Antigua and Barbuda, his lawyer Vijay Aggarwal claimed.
“Mr Mehul Choksi is missing. His family members are worried and anxious and had called me to discuss. Antigua police are investigating. Family is in the dark and worried about his safety,” Vijay Aggarwal said.
Choksi has come under the scanner of multiple agencies in India including the CBI, ED, and SFIO for the alleged fraud on PNB. Choksi is said to be in Antigua since he left India in 2018 after the PNB scam came to light.
The probe agencies in India have alleged that Choksi floated seven “dummy companies” in India to rotate Rs 5,500 crore of the funds raised through letters of understanding (LoU) and loans obtained by Gitanjali Group from public and private banks between January 2014 and December 2017.
India has also sought Choksi’s extradition from Antigua and an Interpol arrest warrant has also been issued against him.
Earlier in March, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said fugitive businessmen Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Choksi are “coming back to India to face the law”.
“The government is following up with the United Kingdom regarding the extradition of Mallya and Modi, while Choksi is believed to be in Antigua. They are all coming back to face law of the land,” Sitharaman said in the Rajya Sabha while replying to a debate on the insurance amendment bill.