Indian team departs from Dominica without fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi: Sources


Team Udayavani, Jun 4, 2021, 10:17 AM IST

New Delhi: An 8-member team from India, which had landed in Dominica to get Mehul Choksi after his possible deportation to India has reportedly departed from the island without the fugitive diamantaire.

As per an India Today report, the CBI team boarded the Bombardier Global 5000 business jet of Qatar Executive from the island at 8:10 pm on Thursday, while Choksi remains at the Dominica-China Friendship Hospital under police guard.

It is now learnt that Choksi’s deportation will not be possible till the cases against him are settled in court.

Choksi had mysteriously gone missing on May 23 from Antigua and Barbuda, where he has been staying since 2018 as a citizen since he fled Delhi. He was detained in neighbouring island country Dominica for illegal entry after a possible romantic escapade with his rumoured girlfriend.

His lawyers alleged that he was kidnapped from Jolly Harbour in Antigua by policemen looking like Antiguan and Indian and brought to Dominica on a boat.

A Dominica High Court is hearing a habeas corpus petition filed on behalf of Choksi challenging his illegal detention. He was also brought before a Roseau magistrate, on the orders of the High Court, to answer charges of illegal entry. He pleaded not guilty but was denied bail.

Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi had fled India in the first week of January 2018, weeks before the Rs 13,500-crore Punjab National Bank scam rocked the Indian banking industry.

The duo allegedly bribed officials of the state-run bank to get Letters of Undertaking (LoU) on the basis of which they availed loans from overseas banks that remained unpaid.

The allegedly corrupt bank officials did not enter these LoUs in the core banking software of PNB, thus evading scrutiny. The non-payment of these LoUs or bank guarantees worth Rs 13,500 crore resulted in default and became a liability on the bank.

Modi escaped to Europe and was finally held in London, where he is contesting his extradition to India. Choksi took the citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda in 2017.

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