Mehul Choksi goes missing in Antigua, claims lawyer | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Mehul Choksi goes missing in Antigua, claims lawyer

ByNeeraj Chauhan | Edited by Arpan Rai, New Delhi
May 25, 2021 06:46 AM IST

Talking to HT, Choksi's lawyer Aggarwal said "Mehul Choksi is missing. His family members are worried and anxious and had called me to discuss. Antigua police are investigating. Family is in the dark and worried about his safety.”

Fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi has gone missing, prompting the Antigua police to launch a manhunt for the scam accused, his lawyer Vijay Aggarwal claimed early on Tuesday. The confirmation came shortly after local reports from Antigua, where Choksi has sought refuge as a citizen, stated that he left his home on Monday "to go for dinner at a well-known restaurant in the southern part of the island and was never seen again".

Mehul Choksi is seen in this file photo in Mumbai. (HT Photo)
Mehul Choksi is seen in this file photo in Mumbai. (HT Photo)

The diamond merchant's vehicle was found in Jolly Harbour later in the evening without any trace of him, a report by antiguanewsroom.com stated.

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Talking to HT, Choksi's lawyer Aggarwal said, "Mehul Choksi is missing. His family members are worried and anxious and had called me to discuss. Antigua police are investigating. Family is in the dark and worried about his safety.”

The 61-year-old Indian businessman and the owner of retail jewellery Gitanjali group is wanted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a multi-crore scam.

Also read: Mehul Choksi challenged move to revoke citizenship, says lawyer

Choksi is accused of siphoning off close to 7,080 crore in the 13,578 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud before fleeing to Antigua on January 4, 2018, a month before the mega-scam came to notice.

An arrest warrant for Choksi has been issued in connection with the alleged PNB fraud case. He was allegedly involved in stock market manipulation in 2013.

In a charge sheet filed last year, the ED claimed Choksi didn’t just cheat Indian banks but customers and lenders in Dubai and the United States as well. His assets worth 2,500 crore have already been attached.

Earlier in March this year, Antigua and Barbuda has initiated the process to cancel the fugitive diamantaire’s citizenship granted under the Caribbean nation’s Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) in November 2017 but he challenged the government’s move in court.

Also read: Mehul Choksi moves Delhi high court against Netflix documentary ‘Bad Boy Billionaires’

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had claimed in March this year that fugitive businessmen Vijaya Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi are "coming back to India" to face the law.

The three businessmen are all coming back to face law of the land, Sitharaman said in the Rajya Sabha while replying to a debate on the insurance amendment bill.

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