Mehul Choksi is Antigua: CBI sources

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New Delhi, Aug 2 (IANS) Fugitive Indian diamond trader Mehul Choksi, wanted by Indian authorities in Rs 13,500-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case, is in Antigua and Berbuda, CBI sources said on Thursday.

“The Antiguan authorities confirmed his presence in Antigua,” a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) source said.

He said the Antiguan authroties’ reply came after CBI wrote to them seeking details of Choksi’s whereabouts in the fraud case.

On July 24, it was revealed that Choksi had moved to Antigua from the US several weeks ago using an Antiguan passport. The revelation came from Antiguan authorities in response to a CBI diffusion notice (a request to Interpol for the arrest of a specific person) circulated to foreign countries through Interpol.

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The red corner notice (RCN) request from the CBI to the Interpol against Choksi is still pending.

On July 11, the ED asked a special court in Mumbai to declare both diamond merchants — Choksi and Nirav Modi — as ‘fugitives’ under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance 2018 because they had fled India a month before they were named in the fraud case on January 31.

The ED has been probing two cases of money laundering against Choksi, Nirav Modi and others under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on the basis of an FIR registered by the CBI.

In these cases, the ED had on May 24 and May 26 filed prosecution complaints or charge-sheets against Choksi and Nirav Modi.

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The court has taken cognisance of the charge-sheets and issued non-bailable warrant against both of them.

On the request of the ED and the CBI, the Interpol had earlier issued RCN against Nirav Modi.

–IANS

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