One of the main accused in the Rs 13,000 crore PNB scam, fugitive Mehul Choksi has given up his Indian citizenship and surrendered his passport to Antigua. The move is seen as an attempt to avoid extradition to India, where he is wanted by multiple agencies for loan fraud.
Mehul Choksi, 59, also submitted 177 dollars with his passport (Z-3396732 ) to the Indian High Commission in Antigua. Officials say he has given his new address as Jolly Harbour Marks Antigua, sources said.
India and Antigua do not have a bilateral extradition pact but the government has been trying to bring back the diamond billionaire from Antigua under a law of the island nation that allows it to send back a fugitive to a designated Commonwealth country, multiple media reports said.
Mehul Choksi was granted citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda in 2018. Later, the CBI filed a case against him in the PNB scam and started investigating him and his nephew Nirav Modi.
Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi are accused of a Rs 13,000 crore fraud involving fake guarantees in the name of state-run Punjab National Bank to secure loans abroad.
Choksi has told a court in Mumbai that he cannot travel to India as he cannot suffer a 41-hour journey from Antigua because of his poor health. He also said in a written statement that the Enforcement Directorate had misled the court by not revealing his condition and the face that he had been in touch with banks and wanted to settle his dues.