Mehul Choksi, one of the prime accused in PNB fraud case, has now been found in Dominica. He was taken into custody by the authorities and will be repatriated to India. As per reports, he had gone ‘missing’ from Antigua earlier this week where he is a citizen. However, he has since been traced to Dominica.
As per a News18 report, he was spotted in Dominica’s capital city of Roseau at the Canefield beach where he was disposing some documents at the sea. Police got suspicious on seeing him and approached him. When he was asked about his purpose to visit Dominica, he refused to answer. Professional scuba divers are deployed to scour the sea to retrieve the documents he appeared to be getting rid of. He was reportedly planning to flee to Cuba upon arriving illegally in Dominica.
Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne has agreed to Choksi’s repatriation. As reported by news agency ANI, Browne said he has requested Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit to not return Choksi to Antigua where he has rights as a citizen but instead send him back to India.
Browne said that he was found in Dominica, another country, where he appeared to have entered illegally, possibly by boats. Dominican government is cooperating with Indian and Antiguan governments. Since he does not seem to be a citizen of Dominica, it appears his repatriation to India may be fairly easier. “We will not accept him back. He made a monumental error by skipping island,” he said.
Choksi, along with his nephew Nirav Modi, are accused of perpetrating bank fraud worth Rs 13,600 crore on Punjab National Bank. The fraud came to light in 2018 and he along with his nephew have been on the run since. While Modi is currently in UK, Choksi was in Antigua.
Recently, a UK court had ruled that his nephew Nirav Modi will be extradited to India from UK to face charges of conspiring to defraud PNB. Choksi faces charges of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating and dishonesty, including delivery of property, corruption and money laundering.