Mumbai

Court refuses to cancel ED warrant against Mehul Choksi

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PMLA court will now hear petition seeking to declare him FEO

A court here on Saturday refused to cancel a non-bailable warrant issued by the Enforcement Directorate against fugitive diamond merchant Mehul Choksi, a key accused in the alleged Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam.

Special judge for Prevention of Money Laundering Act cases V.C. Barde refused to give relief to Mr. Choksi who had moved the court last year seeking cancellation of the warrant issued by the ED. He had said he could not travel to India because of his ill-health and also because there was a threat to his life. He further pleaded that did not intend to cheat and flee, but left the country for treatment of his medical condition.

The court will now hear the ED’s petition seeking to declare him a Fugitive Economic Offender (FEO) under the newly enacted Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.

The declaration will pave the way for confiscation of his properties.

The special court on Friday declared Mr. Choksi’ nephew and another key accused in the scam, Nirav Modi, as FEO. Mr. Modi was arrested in London in March 2019 and extradition prceedings are on.

As per the investigating agencies, Mr. Modi and Mr. Choksi, in connivance with some bank officials, duped PNB of ₹14,000 crore by obtaining Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) fraudulently.

An LoU is a bank guarantee under which a bank can allow its customer to raise money from another Indian bank’s foreign branch.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 9:08:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/court-refuses-to-cancel-ed-warrant-against-mehul-choksi/article30233951.ece

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