Interpol has issued a a Red Corner notice against Mehul Choksi, the co-accused in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam. The notice was issued on Thursday following a request by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which is probing the Rs 12,000 PNB scam along with Enforcement Directorate (ED) and other agencies.
A CBI spokesman said that the notice was issued on the request of the CBI. The red corner notice, which asks countries to help arrest a wanted person, is seen as a huge setback for Mehul Choksi who became a citizen of the Caribbean country Antigua and Barbuda before the multi-crore fraud came to light.
Choksi and designer diamond jewellery businessman Nirav Modi and others are facing investigation after PNB filed a complaint earlier this year that they allegedly cheated the nationalised bank.
Choksi has maintained that the charges against him were not credible enough. Antiguan authorities had also told New Delhi that the only way it could restrict Choksi’s movement was the CBI could get a Red Corner Notice issued against him. A CBI official said the international warrant would also help the Antigua and Barbuda government to take a call on Mehul Choksi’s citizenship.
Mehul Choks ibecame a citizen of the Caribbean islands under a programme that extends its citizenship in exchange for investment in the twin-island state of Antigua and Barbuda. The Antigua government had, however, made it clear that there were provisions that allowed it to reopen the issue of his citizenship .
–India Legal Bureau