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CBI moves for Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi’s extradition

The CBI has sent an extradition request for fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi to the government to be forwarded to Antigua where he has taken citizenship in November last year.

india Updated: Aug 03, 2018 23:41 IST
HT Correspondent
extradition request,CBI,Mehul Choksi
CBI sources said the agency has cited three grounds on the basis of which Mehul Choksi (pictured), one of the alleged masterminds of the $2 billion PNB scam and uncle of fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, can be extradited to India to face trial.(HT/File Photo)

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has formally initiated a fresh process of seeking extradition of fugitive diamond traders Mehul Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi, from Antigua and Barbuda and the UK respectively.

Both Modi and Choksi have been accused by the state-owned Punjab National Bank of defrauding it to tune of around Rs 14,000 crore.

Both of them left India in the first week of January and have not returned to the country despite summons from the investigating agencies and courts.

“We have submitted an extradition request to the ministry of home affairs and it has been further forwarded to the ministry of external affairs for sending to the government of Antigua and Barbuda,” said a CBI official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

India was informed last month that Choksi is in the Caribbean nation and has also taken up Antiguan citizenship.

On Nirav Modi, minister of state for external affairs VK Singh informed the Rajya Sabha in a written reply that an extradition request had been received in the MEA from the MHA.

“The request has been sent by a Special Diplomatic Bag to the High Commission of India (HCI), London for onward transmission to UK authorities,” said Singh in the reply submitted on Thursday.

The CBI and the ED suspect that Nirav Modi is in the UK or in Belgium where he has substantial business interests.

Meanwhile, the Congress alleged that “shocking details” emerging from Antigua had “exposed the complicity and connivance” of the Modi government in Choksi’s escape. The government dismissed the claim.

Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala was reacting to media reports quoting Antiguan authorities saying Indian agencies provided no adverse information on Choksi when the Caribbean country conducted a background check on him. MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar clarified that when the NOC (no-objection certificate) was issued, there was no police case against Choksi.

First Published: Aug 03, 2018 21:24 IST