CBI, through MEA, asks Antigua govt to arrest Mehul Choksi

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), through the Ministry of External Affairs, has written a letter to the Antigua Government asking them to arrest fugitive Mehul Choksi in multi-billion dollar Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam.

In the letter to Antigua government, the central probe agency also asserted that India could seek extradition of Choksi without issuing an Interpol Red Corner Notice as it is not mandatory in the said process. The CBI added that an RCN is needed to locate a fugitive, which in Choksi’s case has already been achieved.

“A Red Corner Notice is not necessary for the arrest of (Choksi) as it is only required to identify the location of the fugitive. Since the location and nationality of Mehul Choksi are already known, he should be arrested and Antigua government should begin with his extradition process, ” the CBI in the letter to Antigua Government said.

On August 9, Antigua had assured to cooperate with India for the extradition of Choksi.

Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Manpreet Vohra flew to Antigua on August 3 and met with Antiguan foreign minister EP Chet Greene to discuss on Choksi’s extradition.

During the meeting, Vohra had handed over the extradition request to Greene. The Indian delegation also held a follow-up meeting with the Antiguan foreign minister over the weekend before they left Antigua on August 5. Also, High Commissioner Mahalingam had spoken to the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne and other officials over Choksi’s extradition on August 6.

India has been trying to bring back Choksi from Antigua under the provision of a law of the island nation which provides for extradition of a fugitive to a designated Commonwealth country.