Antigua PM Terms Mehul Choksi A Crook, Says Indian Authorities Free To Investigate Him
In a massive crackdown against fugitive billionaire Mehul Choksi, Antigua and Barbuda PM Gaston Browne has said that absconding diamantaire is a 'crook' and 'adds no value to his country'.
"He (Choksi) has several appeals, and until he exhausts his appeals there is nothing we can do," said the Antigua PM, describing Choksi as a crook. Browne also said that Indian officials are free to investigate him. "I can assure you that he will be ultimately deported to India after exhausting all his appeals. He will be extradited back to India to face whatever charges made against him. It is just a matter of time," Browne told news agency ANI.
Choksi is a wanted figure in India in the Rs. 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, who was granted citizenship in the Caribbean nation in January, 2018. The Caribbean PM also said that India authorities have the right to come to Antigua and Barbuda to interrogate him. "They can come and if they wish to interview Choksi based on his willingness to participate, it has nothing to do with my government," Browne added.
Browne also pointed out that it is unfortunate that Choksi was cleared by Indian officials as a person in 'good standing' only to be told later that he is a crook. "In any case, our officials acted based on the information from India and made him a citizen... the Indian officials have to take the responsibility for that situation," the Antigua Prime Minister said.
"Got subsequent information that Mehul Choksi is a crook, he does not add value to our country. He will be deported ultimately after he exhausts appeals. Indian officials are free to investigate based on his willingness to participate," Browne told while speaking to ANI.
Both Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi fled the country almost a year ago and are key accused in the much controversial PNB fraud case. On June 17, Choksi had submitted an affidavit in the Bombay High Court, stating that he is residing in Antigua and was willing to co-operate in the investigation in the PNB scam.
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