Fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi is understood to have gone missing in Antigua and Barbuda with the police launching a manhunt to trace him since Sunday, local media outlets reported.
“Antiguanewsroom", a local media outlet, quoted Commissioner of Police Atlee Rodney on Tuesday that the police are “following up on the whereabouts of Indian businessman Mehul Choksi", who is “rumoured" to be missing.
The media reports say Choksi, who had taken the citizenship of the Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, was seen driving in the southern area of the island on Sunday.
According to news agency ANI, Choksi left his home on Monday evening to go for dinner at a well-known restaurant in the southern part of the island and was never seen again. His vehicle was discovered in Jolly Harbour later in the evening, but no sign of him, Antiguan news channels reported.
According to Hindustan Times, Choksi’s lawyer Aggarwal said, “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.”
Meanwhile, CBI sources said the agency has taken note of the reports and is verifying facts.
The 61-year-old Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are wanted for allegedly siphoning off Rs 13,500 crore of public money from the state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB), using letters of undertaking. While Modi is in a London prison after repeated denial of bail and is contesting extradition to India, Choksi had taken the citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda in 2017 using the Citizenship by Investment programme, before fleeing India in the first week of January 2018. The scam came to light subsequently.
Both are facing a CBI probe.