Following massive diplomatic pressure from India, the Antigua PM Gaston Browne has agreed to revoke the citizenship of billionaire diamantaire Mehul Choksi.
“Choksi’s citizenship was processed, he got through. We do have recourse, the reality is that his citizenship will be revoked and he will be deported to India,” the Antiguan PM has said.
“Presently the matter is before the court, so we have to allow for due process. We have conveyed to the Indian government that criminals also have fundamental rights and Choksi has a right to go to court to defend his position. But I can assure you after he has exhausted all of his legal options, he will be extradited,” said the Antiguan Prime Minister.
It may be mentioned here that Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are the two key accused wanted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for allegedly defrauding the Punjab National Bank (PNB) to the tune of Rs 13,400 crore in collusion with a few employees of the government-run lender.
The multi-crore fraud came to light in early 2018. Both Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi had fled the country before that.
Choksi, currently based in the Caribbean nation of Antigua, filed an affidavit on Monday through his advocate Vijay Aggarwal, stating he had left the country in January 2018 for getting medical check-up and treatment abroad.
ED had told the Bombay High Court that it was ready to provide an air ambulance to bring diamantaire Mehul Choksi for trial.