Tuesday, October 4, 2022

PNB Scam: CBI might send team to Antigua and Barbuda to bring Choksi home

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Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will consider sending a special investigative team to Antigua and Barbuda to help extradite Mehul Choksi, who is accused of swindling state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB) of 11,400 crores in the largest bank fraud case in the country. The step is being considered as the Caribbean nation’s ministry of external affairs has in recent months been examining India’s appeal to extradite him. A Red Corner notice was also issued against him last month by Interpol.

“In July last year, Antigua and Barbuda expressed reservation stating that the citizenship to Choksi was granted based on a Police Clearance Certificate issued by the Regional Passport Office, Mumbai and documents received from the Sebi in 2017. However, they assured us to relook at the request once the RCN is issued and now with the RCN in place, they have orally agreed to help the CBI in getting Choksi to justice. A team might be shortly visiting the twin Carribean island nation,” said a senior official.

“The purpose of the visit would be to present its case before the appropriate authority and also fight the extradition legally. Last year, we had sent an extradition request under the provision of UN Convention against Corruption to which both Antigua & Barbuda and India are signatory to. This will be our starting point. The fact that the country has agreed to bring its citizen to book is a big diplomatic victory,” the official added.

By using fraudulent data, Choksi, who fled the country last year before the PNB complaint against them was filed, was accused of securing credit from overseas banks after conspiring with bankers.

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