The International Police Organisation (Interpol) has issued a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against fugitive industrialist and one of the prime accused in the multi-crore PNB Scam, Mehul Choksi .
Interpol issues Red Corner Notice against Mehul Choksi, on request of CBI pic.twitter.com/JLaSC5MZu2
— ANI (@ANI) December 13, 2018
An RCN is a request to locate and provisionally arrest an individual pending extradition. It is issued at the request of a member country or an international tribunal based on a valid national arrest warrant, however, it is not an international arrest warrant. The CBI had requested the Interpol to issue an RCN against the diamond merchant in an effort to ascertain his whereabouts. Interpol had also issued RCNs against Nirav Modi, her Belgian national sister Purvi Modi and brother Nishchal Modi in relation to the scam.
This was confirmed by CBI Spokesperson Abhishek Dayal who said, “The Interpol has issued a Red Corner Notice against Mehul Choksi on the request of the CBI.” Choksi, the owner of Gitanjali Gems, has been residing Antigua and has taken the citizenship of the Caribbean Island. The Antiguan authorities have assured full cooperation to their Indian counterparts after a request of extradition of Choksi was submitted by the Indian government.
The diamond merchant, who fled the country in January this year, has been making silly excuses in order to evade returning to India. An appeal was filed by him before a Mumbai court through his lawyer Sanjay Abbot, in response to a non-bailable warrant issued by CBI against him, stating that he fears a mob lynching if he comes back to India. “As it became impossible for the applicant’s company to function, employees were not paid their salaries and debtors did not get their money back, all these persons have become agitated against the applicant (Choksi) and he now fears for his life”, the appeal read. He had also cited the poor condition of Indian jails as a reason for not returning to India.
The fugitives Mehul Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi had cheated the Punjab National Bank to the tune of over Rs 13,000 crore. In the month of October this year, the Enforcement Directorate had seized the assets of Choksi worth over ₹200 crore.