The International Police ie Interpol has removed the red notice against fugitive Mehul Choksi in the $ 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB Scam) fraud case. Mehul Choksi was added to the red notice in December 2018. The Indian government “strongly opposed” the removal of Choksi’s name from Interpol’s wanted list, but the global policy body was not convinced. CBI officials refused to answer questions on the Interpol’s decision.
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Mehul Choksi recently filed a petition in the Antigua court making the Government of India a party. The petition states that in June 2021, two Indian agents kidnapped him from Antigua and forcibly took him to Dominica Republic. The removal of the red corner notice means that Choksi can now travel freely across the world.
In its order, Interpol said that there is a credible likelihood that the ultimate objective of abducting the applicant from Antigua to Dominica was to send the applicant to India. Interpol said Mehul Choksi could face the risk of “not receiving a fair trial or treatment” upon his return.
Statement issued by Choksi
After this decision of Interpol, the statement of Mehul Choksi’s spokesperson has also come. The statement said, “The Antiguan police report and the evidence presented by Choksi in the ongoing High Court proceedings in Antigua point to an alarming case of state-sponsored abduction, torture and rendition by the Government of India. These The removal of the red corner notice reinforces these concerns.”
No effect on extradition request
People familiar with Interpol’s actions said Choksi had approached the global body last year to review his red notice citing his alleged abduction from Antigua and Barbuda. We (India) strongly opposed his allegations in Interpol and said that if his red notice is removed, he may flee to Antigua. The removal of the Interpol Red Notice does not affect our investigation or our extradition request in Antigua.
Took citizenship of Antigua-Barbuda in 2017
Choksi, an accused in the Rs 14,500 crore PNB scam, fled abroad in January 2018. It was later learned that he had taken the citizenship of Antigua-Barbuda in 2017 itself. Agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) probing the PNB scam are trying to extradite Choksi. Mehul Choksi has refused to appear in India citing ill health. Sometimes he is produced only through video conferencing. Many of his properties in India have also been confiscated.
Was arrested in Dominica 2 years ago
Two years ago he was arrested for trying to enter Dominica. The court and the government there had handed him back to Antigua after keeping him in custody for a few days. The reason for this was that he is technically a citizen of Antigua.
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