Antigua and Barbuda:
The citizenship of Fugitive economic offender Mehul Choksi will be revoked and he will be extradited to India said Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne. According to the local newspaper “The Daily Observer”, Choksi has “exhausted all his legal options”
“His citizenship was processed; he got through but the reality is his citizenship will be revoked and he will be repatriated to India; so there is recourse,” Browne said. “It’s not a case that we are trying to provide any safe harbour for criminals, for those who are involved in financial crimes.”
The offender is accused of defrauding the Punjab National Bank of Rs.13,000 crore, along with his nephew Nirav Modi. Mr Choksi had denied all allegations against him and applied for an Antigua and Barbuda citizenship in August, last year.
Browne said his government will have to allow for due process. “He [Choksi] has a matter before the court and as we said to the Indian government, criminals have fundamental rights, too, and Choksi has a right to go to court and defend his position,” Browne said. “But I can assure you, after he has exhausted all of his legal options, he will be extradited.”
However, Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said he does not have any information on Antigua and Barbuda revoking Choksi’s citizenship, ANI reported. “I do not have information on the matter, I would not like to comment on it,” he said.
On Monday, the Bombay High Court asked Choksi to submit his medical reports to a hospital in Mumbai for cross-examination to determine if he is in a position to travel. Choksi had cited poor health as a reason for not coming to India from Antigua.
While his nephew, Nirav Modi is currently in the United Kingdom and is seeking political asylum in Britain though, the Indian government has officially asked for his extradition. The Enforcement Directorate has begun attaching assets of the accused and is seeking to immediate confiscation under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance.