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'All Charges False and Baseless’: Fugitive Mehul Choksi Speaks Out Amid Extradition Battle

The video comes a day after the Enforcement Directorate sent a reminder to Interpol about its application seeking a red corner notice against Choksi in connection with the alleged $2 billion PNB money laundering case.

News18.com

Updated:September 11, 2018, 1:08 PM IST
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New Delhi: Absconding jeweller Mehul Choksi has lashed out at the Enforcement Directorate in a new video from Antigua, claiming all charges levelled against him were “false and baseless”.

“All allegations levelled against me by the ED are false and baseless. They have attached my properties illegally without there being any basis for the same,” Choksi told news agency ANI.

“On February 16, I got a mail from the Regional Passport Office that my passport has been suspended. I sent a mail to the regional passport office seeking an explanation. As my passport was suspended, there was no question of surrendering the same,” he said.

The video comes a day after the Enforcement Directorate sent a reminder to Interpol about its application seeking a red corner notice against Choksi in connection with the alleged $2 billion PNB money laundering case.

According to officials, a detailed request for issuance of the arrest warrant against Choksi by the global police body was sent in June, soon after the ED filed a charge sheet against him in a Mumbai court. The officials said the Interpol subsequently sought more information about the criminal case filed by it against Choksi, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), which was replied to and now a reminder has been sent through the national central bureau (NCB) of the Interpol in India, that is entrusted with the CBI.

Both the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are probing this case. They said India's request for the global arrest warrant against Choksi will go along with the recent move of sending an extradition request to the Caribbean nation of Antigua where he has taken citizenship now. Choksi is a diamond jewellery businessman and maternal uncle of Nirav Modi, the main accused in India's biggest financial scam. Once a Red Corner Notice is issued against a fugitive, Interpol asks its 192 member countries to arrest or detain the person if spotted in their countries after which extradition or deportation proceedings can begin. The Interpol has till now issued such notices against Nirav Modi, his brother Neeshal, sister Purvi, his executives Subhash Parab and Mihir R Bhansali. This Indian request (for issuance of Interpol notice against Choksi) is also expected to be taken up by an internal committee of the Interpol next month as Indian agencies have made a strong case against him.

The RCN request was put on hold by the Interpol after a representation by Choksi during which he had alleged that the cases against him were a result of political conspiracy.

He had also raised question about jail conditions in India, his personal safety and health among others, officials had said.

The CBI had then given a very strong rebuttal to the claims of the fugitive billionaire, the officials said.

Choksi took the citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda last year and oath of allegiance to that country on January 15 this year after completing the nationality process, officials had said.

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