Deletion of name from Interpol notice strengthens Antiguan court’s concerns: Mehul Choksi’s spokesperson

In an email statement, the fugitive diamantaire’s spokesperson alleges the evidence points to an alarming case of state orchestrated kidnap, torture and attempted rendition by the Indian government

Updated - March 21, 2023 08:54 pm IST

Published - March 21, 2023 06:05 pm IST - New Delhi

File photo of Mehul Choksi.

File photo of Mehul Choksi. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The removal of his name from Interpol’s Red Corner Notice list “strengthens” the argument that India tried to “kidnap” fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi, a spokesperson has said on his behalf. In a statement to The Hindu, the spokesperson alleged that the Government of India had attempted take Mr. Choksi illegally and that the court had received compelling evidence in this regard. 

“The report from the Antiguan police, and the evidence adduced by Mr Choksi in the ongoing High Court proceedings in Antigua, point to an alarming case of state orchestrated kidnap, torture and attempted rendition by the Indian government. The decision of Interpol to delete the Red Notice strengthens these concerns,” the spokesperson said in an email sent to The Hindu

The statement came a day after news spread that the Interpol had withdrawn the Red Corner Notice issued against the fugitive jeweller in a loan fraud case in which he is accused of defrauding the Punjab National Bank of ₹13,500 crore. The notice became unavailable from Interpol’s website reportedly after Mr. Choksi petitioned the global body. 

“Moreover, the preliminary ruling of the High Court in Antigua demonstrates that there is a case to answer for a full investigation. In turn, Mr Choksi has presented a compelling case that the Indian government is behind the orchestrated kidnap from Antiguan territory, the torture of Mr Choksi, and the attempt to render him to India in breach of the international rule of law,” the spokesperson’s statement said. 

Mr. Choksi left India in January 2018 just as the case of fraud was coming to light. Mr. Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are both wanted in the case. He subsequently surfaced in Antigua, where he had acquired citizenship even before the scandal came to light.

Mr. Choksi was the subject of a dramatic incident in May 2021 when a Hungarian woman, Barbara Jarabic, and two Indian men, Gurmit Singh and Gurjeet Bhandal, allegedly tried to take Mr. Choksi forcibly from Antigua to Dominica. He returned to Antigua after a brief period in Dominica, alleging mistreatment and violence by the Indian men and the Dominican authorities. 

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