Fugitive diamond merchant Mehul Choksi, has been reported missing from the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, had a stay on the process of any extradition request in his favour from an Antiguan Court. He had fled in 2018 just before the lid was blown off the irregularities he had committed with his nephew Nirav Modi to defraud the public sector bank.
According to the report the stay, which was obtained over two years ago, continues to operate in favour of Choksi. The Antigua and Barbuda police have put up a missing notice that the 62-year-old Choksi was last seen at around 5 in the evening before he left home in a car. Local media reported that Choksi was headed to dinner at a restaurant in the southern part of the island before he went missing.
The car in which he was seen has been found and police have launched an investigation into the disappearance of Choksi, who obtained citizenship of the Caribbean nation via the citizenship by investment programme in 2017. The year after, before his name came up in the scam he had made good his escape to the islands.
The Caribbean nation, with which India does not have an extradition treaty, but an arrangement only, had assured India that it will send back Choksi to India once he exhausts all his legal options against extradition from his new home.
Gaston Browne, the Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister stated that he can assure you that Mehul will be ultimately deported after exhausting all his appeals. He will be extradited back to India to face whatever charges against him. It is just a matter of time.
The report further added that the agency had not been officially notified about Choksi’s disappearance, which was confirmed to the website by his lawyer Vijay Aggarwal. Antiguan officials and sources who spoke to Indian news outlets said they had no confirmation of the present whereabouts of Choksi and that police had launched efforts to trace him.
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