New Delhi, Aug 09: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday informed that India is awaiting updates in connection with the extradition requests submitted for fugitive economic offenders Mehul Choksi, Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya. Addressing a presser in the national capital, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar confirmed that India has received no word from the authorities in Antigua and Barbuda regarding the extradition of fugitive diamantaire Choksi, the request for which was submitted on August 3. "We have been told that they are examining the request. We will have to wait, as and when there are developments, we will update," Kumar said.
Kumar further said that the situation concerning Choksi's nephew, Nirav Modi, was similar and that they were awaiting a response from the UK Central Authority. "The request from Enforcement Directorate (ED) for the extradition of Nirav Modi, was forwarded to the UK Central Authority on August 3. This was based on the two red-corner notices issued by the ED. We wait for a response from the British government on this matter," Kumar said.
Choksi and Modi are implicated for duping the Punjab National Bank of nearly USD 2 billion, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the state-controlled bank. In reply to questions regarding the extradition of absconding liquor-baron - Vijay Mallya, Kumar said that they will continue to press British authorities to facilitate in bringing him back to India.
"Presently, the matter is pending before the Westminster Magistrates' Court, London. The matter will be again heard on September 12, 2018. We will continue to press upon them to have all efforts made to bring him back to India," Kumar stated. Mallya faces charges of defrauding a consortium of Indian banks to the tune of Rs. 9000 crores, and also faces charges of money laundering. He is currently on bail from London's Westminster Court, which has set September 12 as the next date for hearing the 62-year-old's trial.