India has sent the deportation documents for Mehul Choksi, the diamond merchant, wanted in India for the Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan scam. He is currently in Dominica.
He was caught in the Caribbean island nation, where he tries to escape to Cuba from Antigua. He has been living in Antigua since 2018 after obtaining citizenship.
Sources in India’s investigating agencies — the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate — said only case files have been sent Dominica.
The foreign ministry is coordinating the case of Mehul Choksi with the governments of Dominica and Antigua and the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate are assisting with case details, sources said.
Enquired about a private jet that arrived in Dominica on May 28, Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne confirmed it to the local media today.
“My understanding is that the Indian government has sent some documentation from the courts in India to confirm that Mr Choksi is indeed a fugitive and my understanding is that the documentation will be utilised in the court hearing next Wednesday,” Mr Browne told the Antigua News Room.
“The Indian government seems to be going all out to ensure that he is repatriated to India so that he can stand charges there,” he added.
Sources said Mehul Choksi’s escape from Antigua has made his deportation much easier.
“Mehul Choksi ended up in Dominica on ‘personal issues’, agencies have no role in that. “Allegations of abduction against Indian agencies are baseless. With Dominica is charging Choksi of illegally entering their territory, our case has got a lot easier,” an official said.
Prime Minister Browne had said he has made a “monumental mistake” and should be immediately deported to India. “We will not accept him back,” Mr Browne said .
Mr Browne as saying that if Mehul Choksi is deported to Antigua, he will continue to enjoy the legal and constitutional protections of citizenship.
“We respect the jurisdiction of the court over this matter. My request on behalf of the state, for Dominica to consider deporting Choksi directly to India, as a form of state cooperation to apprehend a fugitive, is perfectly acceptable,” he added.