India has handed over a request to Antigua for extradition of fugitive Mehul Choksi who has obtained citizenship of the Caribbean nation.
A team from India, it is learnt, was sent to Antigua a few days ago to pursue the authorities there to extradite Choksi, a prime accused in the alleged Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case.
“The team met the Foreign Ministry officials of the island nation yesterday and handed over the request to extradite Choksi to India,” said a PTI report quoting an official source.
As per reports, Antiguan authorities cleared his citizenship in November 2017 after India did not give any adverse report to stall his application.
Choksi is one of the alleged masterminds of the USD 2 billion scam in state-run Punjab National Bank and is an uncle of fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi.
He is wanted in India by the CBI and Enforcement Directorate probing the fraud, the biggest banking scam in the country.
The Mumbai Police on Saturday said a probe had been ordered into the issuance of police verification report to fugitive jeweller and Punjab National Bank scam accused Mehul Choksi.
The Mumbai Police had earlier said Mehul Choksi was given a “clear report” last year as no criminal antecedents were found against him.
The claims made by Antigua and Barbuda that Choksi was granted citizenship based on a police clearance certificate (PCC) issued by the Regional Passport Office (RPO), Mumbai, created furore in India.
Mumbai Police on Saturday said the RPO in Mumbai had issued a passport to the absconding diamantaire Mehul Choksi after granting him a no ‘Police Verificiation Required (PVR) status.
Accordingly, no PVR was generated for the passport, issued under the ‘Tatkal’ category on September 10, 2015, valid for 10 years, said an official statement from the Mumbai police.
(With agency inputs)