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Mehul Chowksi Makes Dominica Popular, Rage In India

Mehul Chowksi Makes Dominica Popular, Rage In India
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New Delhi (The Hawk): "Wanted" Mehul Chowksi Makes Dominica Popular, Rage in India…Fugitive or not (till proved in court of law), fraudster or not (till proved in court of law), Cheat(er) or not till proved in 'proper' court of law (in which country, India obviously!), misappropriator of Rs 13,000 crores or not (till duly proved in a court of law), Mehul Chowksi has done a great favor to the Indians (like him or otherwise) by showing them how to hide, conceal their multi trillion or far more without paying a penny as income tax or any other tax by concealing all that money in tax free Dominica Republic, West Indies. Its thus another Switzerland and its Swiss Banks. Truly put, Dominica confidantes, spread all throughout the country, already have succeeded in swaying many Indians to 'hide' their dough in Dominica which by that is fast becoming parvenu with no question asked. …On to Mehul Choksi : Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are wanted for allegedly siphoning Rs 13,500 crore of public money from the state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB) using letters of undertaking. In March 2018, a special PMLA court issued non-bailable arrest warrants (NBWs) against Choksi, and his nephews Nirav Modi and Neeshal Deepak Modi, owner of Firestar Diamonds. They are suspected of colluding with two employees of Punjab National Bank (PNB), the country's second-largest state-owned lender, in an alleged $1.8 billion fraud. At least six PNB staff and at least six employees of Choksi and Modi have been arrested so far. Choksi is a fugitive of Indian government. Choksi has protested his innocence in an open letter. On 6 March 2018, the CBI detained Vipul Chitalia, the Vice-President of Gitanjali Group of Companies and a key aide of Choksi. Chitalia was arrested at Mumbai airport and remained in custody till March 2018. A designated PMLA authority held that 41 properties worth about Rs 1,210 crore, attached by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the name of Mehul Choksi and his associated firms, are money laundering assets and ordered that their attachment should continue. The central probe agency provisionally attached 15 flats and 17 office premises in Mumbai, a mall in Kolkata, a four-acre farm house in Alibaug and 231 acres of land at locations like Nashik, Nagpur, Panvel in Maharashtra and Villupuram in Tamil Nadu, in February 2018 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in connection with the about US$2 billion alleged fraud at a Mumbai-based branch of the Punjab National Bank (PNB.On 7 January 2018, Choksi left India to the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda. And then Dominica. A few days later, the PNB scam was disclosed. On 15 January, he took the oath of citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda, where he applied for the citizenship in November 2017 under the country's Citizenship by Investment program. On 17 June, his lawyer informed the Bombay High Court that he left India for medical check-up and not to avoid prosecution in the case. Ever since, CBI has been trying to extradite him back to India.On 23 May 2021, Choksi had gone missing in Antigua and Barbuda. He was last seen around 5:15 pm on 23 May before leaving his home in a car which has been recovered by the police in Jolly Harbour area. A probe has been launched to look for him. It was reported that he may have fled to Cuba. On 26 May, he was found in a nearby Caribbean country of Dominica while trying to flee to Cuba by a boat and is held by the local police. This flee attempt would make CBI's case of extraditing him to India in Antiguan courts stronger. His lawyer claimed that Choksi was kidnapped by whom Choksi believed to be Indian and Antiguan police and brought to Dominica by a boat. He also claimed that Choksi had a swollen eye and several bruises when he met Choksi. The High Court of Justice Commonwealth of Dominica has currently issued a stay order on his repatriation from the country. On 29 May 2021, Choksi's pictures were surfaced by Antiguan media. In the pictures, Choksi sustained several injuries to his left hand and the left eye is bruised and swollen. Several Indian agencies were in touch with the Dominican government using diplomatic channels urging that he is an Indian citizen and that he had an Interpol Red Corner notice and he should be handed over to the Indian authorities. The opposition parties United Workers' Party of Dominica and United Progressive Party of Antigua and Barbuda are allegedly utilising this opportunity to support him against his deportation to India, in return for campaign funding.

Updated : 7 Jun 2021 8:58 AM GMT
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SOUMITRA BOSE

Soumitra Bose is a Special Correspondent of The Hawk in New Delhi


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