Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda where Mehul Choksi sought refuge after fleeing India in 2018 said the fugitive businessman should be repatriated 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 Mr Browne as telling journalists in Antigua and Barbuda.
“We will not accept him back. He made a monumental error by skipping the island,” Mr Browne said, according to news agency
Mehul Choksi, 62, was caught when he was allegedly trying to escape to Cuba from Antigua, where he had been living since 2018 after leaving India.
He reportedly left Antigua and took a boat to neighbouring Dominica. With an Interpol lookout circular against him, he was caught by the police from a beach in Dominica.
Choksi was fighting two cases in Antigua related to his citizenship and his extradition to India, according to the CBI.
He had fled India after taking citizenship in 2017 in Antigua, where wealthy foreigners can become citizens in exchange for investing there.
Instead of working out extradition treaty for more than two years but Still Indian autorites Citing extradtion will depend on the response to the request for his repatriation from Dominica, a country with which India doesn’t have an extradition treaty or arrangement.
How EAM Indian officals use in future Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda statement that fugitive businessman should be repatriated to India instead of being sent back to Antigua is to be seen ..
People familiar with developments said Indian Exteranal affairs Minsitry could have easily explored a treaty by this time .. But reason for the delay is yet to be made known
During March 2018, a special PMLA court issued non-bailable arrest warrants (NBWs) against Choksi, and his nephews Nirav Modi and Neeshal Deepak Modi, owner of Firestar Diamonds.
They are suspected of colluding with two employees of Punjab National Bank (PNB), the country’s second-largest state-owned lender, in an alleged $1.8 billion ( Rs 13500 Crores ) fraud.
At least six PNB staff and at least six employees of Choksi and Modi have been arrested so far.