India has asked Antigua and Barbuda to expedite its response to New Delhi’s request for the extradition of fugitive diamond merchant Mehul Choksi, a co-accused in the PNB bank loan fraud case, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said on Thursday.
Talking to reporters here, he recollected that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had taken up the Choksi case with the Antigua Foreign Minister during their bilateral meeting in New York in September on the margins of the UN General Assembly. The Antigua minister had assured her that the authorities in his country would consider India’s request.
The spokesperson said India was waiting for Antigua’s response in this regard.
He said India’s request for the extradition of Nirav Modi, the other accused in the case, was under the consideration of the UK authorities.
“We remain committed to bringing economic offenders back to India,” the spokesperson added.
In late January this year, Punjab National Bank had filed a police complaint against Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi charging them with cheating the bank of more than Rs 2 billion.
Further, in the case, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had filed a case against Choksi’s Gitanjali Group in mid-February.
In July, the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) of Antigua and Barbuda confirmed that Mehul Choksi was present in the island nation and that he had obtained Antiguan citizenship in November 2017.