PNB Fraud: India Notifies Antigua Under Extradition Act, 1962, Seeks Mehul Choksi's Custody
Mehul Choksi, Fugitive Jeweller and Owner of Gitanjali Group, Accused in Rs 13, 400 Crore PNB Fraud Case | File Image | (Photo Credits: ANI)

New Delhi, August 6: In a big move towards the extradition of Punjab National bank fraud accused Mehul Choksi, India has notified Antigua under the Extradition Act, 1962. According to reports, the Extradition Act clears the road for India to get Choksi's custody. The team comprising officials from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and other agencies from India was sent to Antigua a few days ago to request the Antiguan authorities to extradite Choksi.

Antiguan authorities had reportedly cleared Choksi’s citizenship in November 2017 after India did not give any adverse report to stall his application for it. The MEA had confirmed that the PCC was issued on the basis of a clear Police Verification Report (PVR) available on his passport. This came after the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had brushed off reports that it had given a positive report to Choksi, based on which he got an Antiguan citizenship.

Under the Citizenship by Investment Program of Antigua and Barbuda, a person can take their passport on a minimum investment of USD 1,00,000 in the National Development Fund.

Choksi, an accused in the $2 billion PNB fraud along with Nirav Modi, had fled India on January 4 this year and took oath of allegiance in Antigua on January 15. His citizenship was cleared in November 2017.

Choksi and his companies allegedly availed credit from overseas branches of Indian banks using the fraudulent guarantees of PNB given through letters of undertaking (LoUs) and letters of credit issued by the Brady House branch which were not repaid, bringing liability on the state-run bank, the officials have said.