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Enforcement Directorate seizes Mehul Choksi’s assets worth Rs 24.7crore

ED initiated investigation in the money-laundering case against Mehul Choksi and others on February 15, 2018, under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, on the basis of an FIR registered by the Central Bureau Of Investigation (CBI).

mumbai Updated: Jul 12, 2019 04:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Mehul Choksi,Enforcement Directorate,Mehul Choksi’s assets
After investigations started, Choksi allegedly fled the country and became a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda under a programme in which a certain quantum of investment entitles one to citizenship.(File photo)

With Indian agencies pushing to get diamantaire Mehul Choksi — one of the prime accused in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case — extradited from Antigua, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached immovable properties, worth Rs 24.77 crore, belonging to him.

The attachment includes three commercial properties in Dubai; a Mercedes Benz E280; valuables; and a fixed deposit, stated the ED. With this, the ED has till now attached and seized properties worth Rs 2,534.7 crore out of the total proceeds of crime, worth Rs 6,097.73 crore, in the PNB case.

“Accused Choksi is suspected to be in Antigua and Barbuda. Extradition request has been sent. A Red Corner Notice has also been issued against Mehul Choksi on the request of ED,” the agency stated, adding it has filed a charge sheet or the prosecution complaint.

ED initiated investigation in the money-laundering case against Choksi and others on February 15, 2018, under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, on the basis of an FIR registered by the Central Bureau Of Investigation (CBI).

The accused have been charged for fraudulently acquiring letters of undertaking (LoU) in connivance with bank officials and causing wrongful loss to PNB. An LoU is a guarantee by the bank that should the borrower default on repayment, it would pay back the money to the original lender.

After investigations started, Choksi allegedly fled the country and became a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda under a programme in which a certain quantum of investment entitles one to citizenship.

Last month, Choksi told the court that he was not running away from the law and his medical condition prevented him from returning to India. The Bombay high court (HC) has directed Choksi’s counsel to submit his medical papers so that the head of cardiology from Sir JJ Hospital can analyse them to ascertain whether he can safely travel to India and study the feasibility of using the special air ambulance, offered by the government, to bring him back.

First Published: Jul 12, 2019 04:21 IST