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India in Touch with Antiguan Govt After Choksi Detained in Dominica; to Ascertain His Citizenship

Mehul Choksi. (PTI)

Mehul Choksi. (PTI)

Choksi was captured in neighbouring Dominica after an Interpol Yellow Notice was issued against him.

Day after fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi was apprehended, India said it is in contact with the governments of Dominica, and Antigua and Barbuda to bring him back from the Caribbean region. Choksi, who had fled Antigua and Barbuda recently, was held in Dominica after an Interpol Yellow Notice was issued against him, according to Antiguan media.

“The Ministry of National Security and Home Affairs is in communication with the authorities of Antigua and Barbuda to ascertain some facts including the status of his Antiguan citizenship," the government said in a statement. It further stated that Choksi, who has been detained for illegal entry into Dominica, will be repatriated to Antigua once his citizenship status is clarified.

“We are in touch with them. Our interest in getting fugitives like Choksi and others remains strong," news agency PTI quoted one of its sources, adding the focus has been to bring them back to the country at the earliest. It is learnt that probe agencies are pursuing the matter of bringing back Choksi to India.

Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne said he has asked Dominica to hand the diamantaire over to India directly. After news of Choksi’s arrest in Dominica came on Tuesday night (local time), Browne told media that he has given “clear instructions" to the Dominican authorities to repatriate Choksi to India. “We asked them not to repatriate him to Antigua. He needs to return to India where he can face the criminal charges levelled against him," Antigua News Room, a media outlet, quoted Browne’s interaction with journalists in Antigua and Barbuda.

RELATED NEWS

Choksi is wanted in a Rs 13,500-crore loan fraud in the Punjab National Bank. He was last seen going for dinner in his car in Antigua and Barbuda on Sunday. His staff had reported him missing.

Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi allegedly siphoned off Rs 13,500 crore of public money from the state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB) using fraudulent letters of undertaking. Nirav Modi, lodged in a London jail, is contesting his extradition to India after repeated denial of his bail by courts.

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first published:May 27, 2021, 18:54 IST