Fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi, 62, who is sought by Indian agencies in connection with the Rs 14,000 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, has gone missing from Antigua—a Caribbean island nation to which he fled in 2018 after the scam came to the fore.
Notably, Choksi’s lawyer Vijay Aggarwal said that the diamantaire is missing and his family is looking for him. Aggarwal also confirmed that the Antiguan police have launched a search for Choksi.
Meanwhile, there are speculations that Mehul Choksi could have fled Antigua and landed in Cuba. Like Antigua, India has no extradition treaty with Cuba.
Antiguan authorities looking for Choksi
“Antiguanewsroom”, a local media outlet, quoted Commissioner of Police Atlee Rodney that the police are “following up on the whereabouts of Indian businessman Mehul Choksi”, who is “rumoured” to be missing. He was last seen at 5.15 pm on May 23 evening while leaving his residence in a car. The Johnson Point Police Station in Antigua has filed a case on Mehul Choksi going missing from Antigua.
According to Prime Minister of Antigua, Gaston Browne, the government authorities are trying to trace Mehul Choksi and citizens have been asked to inform police if they have any information.
CBI ascertaining the facts
News agencies reported that the CBI has taken note of the development and is ascertaining the facts. The CBI is in contact with the Antiguan embassy in India and trying to confirm the development. A red corner notice had been already issued against Choksi in 2018, which means that Interpol will be alerted if the businessman tries to enter any immigration point anywhere in the world.
Mehul Choksi fled India
After the over Rs 1,400 crore Punjab National Bank fraud came into the limelight, Nirav Modi, his wife Ami Modi, and uncle Mehul Choksi fled from India. Later, red corner notices were issued by Interpol against all the three fugitives. Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi are already fighting extradition to India. The Enforcement Directorate that is probing the scam has already seized several assets of these fugitive businessmen.
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