Choksi’s move is being seen as an attempt to avoid getting extradited to India
Fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi has given up his Indian citizenship and surrendered his passport to Antigua, according to a report by NDTV.
Choksi’s move is being seen as an attempt to avoid getting extradited to India. Antigua and India do not have an extradition treaty. He is wanted by multiple law agencies for financial fraud pertaining to the Rs 13400-crore PNB fraud scam.
According to the report, Choksi, 59, submitted 177 dollars along with his passport to the Indian High Commission in Antigua.
The report, citing officials, suggests that he gave his new address as Jolly Harbour Marks, Antigua.
According to the foreign ministry, Choksi cannot have dual citizenship.
In October 2018, the External Affairs Ministry had said that the request to extradite the fugitive jeweller was being "examined" by Antigua and Barbuda.
Earlier in July 2018, Choksi had claimed that he had taken Antigua citizenship last year to expand his business as the passport of the Caribbean nation provides visa-free travel to 132 countries.
Nirav Modi and Choksi are being investigated by the ED and the CBI after it was detected that they allegedly cheated the Punjab National Bank (PNB) of more than Rs 13,400 crore with the purported involvement of a few of the lender's employees.
The scam, which reportedly began in 2011, was detected in January this year, after which PNB officials reported it to the probe agencies.Choksi and Nirav Modi fled India in January 2018 nearly a fortnight before the scam was detected.