Image- PTI/ RepublicTV
The Centre on Sunday asked the Dominican government to return fugitive diamond merchant Mehul Choksi to India given the 'huge crimes' that he had committed in the country as an Indian citizen. This comes a day after Choksi was intercepted by the Dominican police who detained the fugitive upon his illegal entry into the country.
As per sources, India has asked Dominica to treat Mehul Choksi as 'a fugitive Indian citizen' who has an Interpol Red Corner notice against him. It has also asked the government to hand him over to Indian authorities for deportation so that he can face the law in India for his role in the multi-million dollar PNB Scam.
Given that Choksi had taken up Antigua citizenship, the Indian government has clarified that there is no case for Choksi to deny his Indian citizenship as any other citizenship is a front to hide his alleged crimes.
India has also announced that it is sending its High-Commissioner based in Trinidad & Tobago to Dominica on June 3 to seek his extradition. A hearing is due on June 2, for which an Indian charter plane has been flown from Delhi to Dominica with all necessary proof and files to back India's case.
Earlier in the day, the Antigua PM had also categorically stated that his government is determined to revoke Choksi’s citizenship and to concurrently pursue his extradition to India. "We respect the jurisdiction of the court over this matter. My request on behalf of the state, for Dominica to consider deporting Choksi directly to India, as a form of state cooperation to apprehend a fugitive, is perfectly acceptable," said Antigua PM Gaston Browne.
Mehul Choksi had fled from Antigua on May 23, and the governments and law informant agencies were on the lookout for him. His latest images were accessed by RepublucTv on Saturday which showed Choksi with a red eye and several bruises up his arms.
Owner of Gitanjali jewellers, Choksi along with his nephew Nirav Modi is accused of duping the Punjab National Bank (PNB) of Rs 13,500 crore, siphoning off the money using letters of undertaking. India has been formally pursuing his extradition since August 2018.
(With ANI inputs)