In a major win for the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED), on Tuesday, the Interpol has issued a fresh red corner warrant against fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi who is wanted for the Rs 13,000 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case.
Mehul Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are involved in the millions worth PNB scams, and before the bank approached CBI with a complaint against Choksi and Modi’s companies for fraudulent issuance of Letters of Undertakings (LoUs) and Foreign Letters of Credit (FLCs), the two had fled from the country and have been on a run since January. Soon, CBI filed an investigation warrant against Modi and Choksi for allegedly conducting a scam of Rs 13,000 crore fake loans and escaping to Antigua under the provision of a law of the island nation – which he even managed to gain citizenship of.
In response to CBI’s warrant requests, the Interpol had issued the notice against Choksi about a fortnight ago to appear for investigation in the case. However, his lawyer said that he is not in a position to record his statement and “if his condition gets better”, he shall return to India. However, in a major outturn in favour of Indian investigation authorities in the case, the Interpol on Thursday issued a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against fugitive diamond merchant Mehul Choksi. The RCN comes nearly six months after the CBI sent a request to the international organisation for Choksi’s extradition in connection with PNB scam.
With the RCN issued, the Interpol is handing out a kind of international arrest warrant for fugitives where the international investigatory organisation requests its member countries to arrest or detain them. This will make the extradition of Choksi and perhaps even Nirav Modi, a much easier task for the Indian authorities and hence procure further investigations in the case.