Following Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne's announcement regarding the revoking of Mehul Choksi's citizenship, sources in the Ministry of External Affairs have said that India is in constant touch with Antigua regarding the matter and are waiting for official confirmation and communication of the same to India.
Ministry of External Affairs sources have said that India will not make any move until Antigua initiates internal processes to revoke his citizenship and only after that can the extradition process begin
"India waits for Antigua's internal process of revoking citizenship. Only after that extradition process can start separately. India continues to engage with Antigua. MEA yet to hear officially from Antiguan govt about revoking of citizenship, said MEA sources"
Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne had earlier released a statement saying that Antigua and Barbuda citizenship of fraudster Choksi will be revoked in short order, Antiguan media reported.
“His citizenship was processed; he got through but the reality is his citizenship will be revoked and he will be repatriated to India; so there is recourse. It’s not a case that we are trying to provide any safe harbor for criminals, for those who are involved in financial crimes,” Gaston Browne said as per the report.
He further added that the Antiguan government is in touch with the Indian government and has assured that after Choksi has exhausted all legal options available to him, he will be extradited back to India.
Choksi was granted citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda on January 15, 2018. He has been living in this country since 2018. The fugitive diamantaire and Nirav Modi, both absconding are main accused of defrauding India's second largest state-run bank PNB to the tune of over Rs 13,000 crore.
On March 22, Choksi had moved an application before the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court, stating his long history of heart ailment and a blood clot in the brain as the reason for not being able to appear before it. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has offered to provide an air ambulance and a team of medical experts to bring back fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi from Antigua and provide him with all necessary treatment in India. In a counter affidavit submitted before the High Court, ED has termed as "a facade" an affidavit submitted earlier this week by Choksi in which he claimed that he is unable to return to India due to persistent health problems.