Last Updated : Jul 28, 2018 07:19 PM IST | Source:

Mehul Choksi denies allegations; Antigua minster says will honour any legitimate extradition request

Choksi became an Antiguan citizen in November 2017, and swore his oath of allegiance on January 15 this year

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Mehul Choksi's attorney in Antigua and Barbuda, David Dorsett, released a statement on Thursday, in which his client denied all allegations against him in India, according to a report by The Daily Observer.

"There is no truth in those allegations," Choksi was quoted as saying in the statement. He added that on the advice of his lawyers, including Dorsett, he would say nothing more about the allegations.

In the statement, Choksi also specified his reason to move to Antigua. He was quoted as saying that he chose to become an Antiguan citizen to "expand business interests in the Caribbean" and "to obtain visa-free travel access to 130 or so countries".

Holders of Antigua and Barbuda passports enjoy visa-free travel to 132 countries, including the UK, Singapore and all countries covered under the the Schengen visa.

Choksi became an Antiguan citizen in November 2017, and swore his oath of allegiance on January 15 this year.

However, in what could be a setback to Choksi's plans to stay put in the idyllic Caribbean island, the Antiguan foreign minister EP Greene said that his country's government will honour any legitimate request by India to extradite Choksi.

Greene reportedly said that he was not aware that the government of Antigua and Barbuda had received any requests from any Indian government or law enforcement body for cooperation or extradition pertaining to Choksi.

"However, if a request is received we will honour any legitimate request made of us, notwithstanding that we do not have any extradition agreements with India. That is the extent of our commitment to preserving the integrity of our programme," Greene said.

With the US State Department labeling its as 'among the most lax in the world', Antigua's citizenship program, which lets the world's wealthy pick up a second passport, has been sharply criticised.
First Published on Jul 28, 2018 04:17 pm
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