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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi held in Dominica: Local media

Choksi was reported missing from his home in Antigua and Barbuda on May 23.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 27, 2021 6:58:14 am
Fugitive diamond trader Mehul Choksi. (File)

Fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi, who had fled Antigua and Barbuda, has been captured in Dominica, PTI quoted  local media reports from the country as saying.

Choksi was reported missing from his home in Antigua and Barbuda, the Caribbean nation of which he has been a citizen since early 2018, on May 23. Police in Dominica captured Choksi on Tuesday night (local time) after an Interpol Yellow Notice was issued by Antigua and Barbuda. Efforts are on to hand him over to the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda, the local media reports stated.

Choksi is accused of defrauding the public-sector Punjab National Bank (PNB) of almost Rs 13,600 crore.

As per a notice issued by the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda, Choksi was reported missing on May 23 at Antigua’s Johnson Point Police Station. “He was last seen at about 5.15 pm on the above-mentioned date before leaving home in a motorcar which has since been recovered. Based on additional information received the police have conducted numerous searches, but to no avail,” the police said in the notice issued on May 24.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne had said that his dispensation was “collaborating” with the Indian government, neighbouring countries and international police organisations to try and locate Choksi. “Someone from his household indicated that he is missing. Since then the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda put out a statement to that effect. That statement will be shared with the Interpol,” he had said.

Vijay Aggarwal, Choksi’s lawyer in India, said his client’s family was not aware of his whereabouts. “Mehul Choksi is missing. His family members are worried. They are in touch with the Antigua police but are very concerned about his safety. We don’t know what happened to him,” Aggarwal told The Indian Express on Tuesday.

Choksi left India on January 7, 2018, several days before the PNB scam came to light, and took the oath of citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda on January 15. He had applied for citizenship in November 2017 under the island nation’s Citizenship by Investment programme.

Choksi’s nephew Nirav Modi, also an accused in the case, is fighting to ward off extradition from the UK, where he is in prison.

With inputs from PTI

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