Home >News >India >Mehul Choksi goes missing in Antigua: Report

NEW DELHI: Mehul Choksi, the 62-year-old fugitive diamantaire wanted in India in connection with 14,000 crore Punjab National Bank loan fraud and money-laundering case, has gone missing in the Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, news reports said on Tuesday.

Choksi had fled India to Antigua and Barbuda in 2018.

Choksi's lawyer, Vijay Aggarwal, was quoted as telling NDTV on Tuesday that his client was missing and that his family was looking for him. He also added that the Antiguan police had launched a search for Choksi.

According to a report by the Antigua Newsroom, Police Commissioner Atlee Rodney had said his officers were "following up on the whereabouts of Indian businessman Mehul Choksi."

According to the NDTV report, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) one of two agencies on the lookout for Choksi told NDTV it had not been officially informed of Choksi’s disappearance. A Red Notice against Choksi - issued by global police body Interpol in 2018 - meant they will be alerted if he entered any immigration point anywhere in the world, the report said.

Meanwhile, other news reports said Choksi might have shifted base to Cuba. "We have got such reports (and) we are ascertaining it," a senior official was quoted as saying by news reports.

Like Antigua, Cuba has no extradition agreement with India.

According to news agency ANI, Choksi left his home Monday evening to go for dinner at a restaurant in the southern part of Antigua and he has not been seen since. His vehicle was found later.

The missing diamantaire is involved in a long-running legal battle to stop his extradition to India. He currently holds Antiguan citizenship. Last year, Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne had been quoted as saying that the citizenship would be revoked once all of his legal options had been exhausted.

Choksi's nephew, billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, 50, is also wanted in connection with the PNB scam case. Like Choksi, Modi too fled India in 2018 and is currently in the UK. His extradition was cleared by the British government last month but Modi can still challenge that before the UK High Court.

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