New Delhi: Preparations have started to bring diamond businessman Mehul Choksi, accused of Punjab National Bank scam, absconding from the country with thousands of crores of Indian banks. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) will now request the Dominica government to allow it to file an affidavit in the court on Wednesday, describing the fugitive businessman as an Indian national.
An official said it was imperative to explain the Indian government's stand. It cannot be one-sided. Choksi is an Indian citizen and criminal. We will request the Dominica court to hand over Choksi to India.
According to some media reports, the team of Central Bureau of Investigation i.e. CBI, ED and Ministry of External Affairs are also camping in Dominica for the siege of Mehul Choksi. According to sources, an 8-member team from India reached Dominica on Saturday afternoon in a private jet. The team had left from Delhi on Friday.
Sources said that two members of the Ministry of External Affairs, CBI and ED are in Dominica along with two commandos of the CRPF for the hearing in the Choksi extradition case to be held on June 2. Called to the national capital on Friday, they later boarded a private jet for Dominica. However, senior officials of CBI and ED remained silent on the number of officers sent to Dominica in this context.
Currently, Choksi is in the custody of Dominica Police and is being questioned. Choksi, who recently escaped from Antigua and Barbuda, has been apprehended in Dominica.
Mehul Choksi was trying to escape from Dominica to Cuba, during which he was caught from Dominica. The court of Dominica is to be heard in Choksi's case on 2 June i.e. on Wednesday. Choksi had acquired citizenship of the Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda in 2017, even before fleeing India in January 2018.
Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are accused of allegedly defrauding PNB to the tune of Rs 13,500 crore in connivance with some bank officials. Nirav Modi is currently lodged in a London jail. CBI is investigating against both.