India submits another letter for Choksi’s extradition

St. John’s: India has submitted second extradition request to Antigua and Barbuda government for the extradition of Indian fugitive Mehul Choksi, who has acquired the citizenship of the Caribbean country.

Indian High Commissioner in Guyana, Venkatachalam Mahalingam, visited St. John’s, capital of Antigua and Barbuda on August 30, for the third time in recent weeks to meet senior Government officials on the Choksi’s extradition matter, Antigua media reported.

Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne received Mahalingam and both held extensive discussions on the extradition of fugitive Indian businessman.
Gaston Browne, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, was accompanied by the senior officials of his country, including Attorney-General, Hon. Steadroy ‘Cutie’ Benjamin, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Anthony Liverpool; and Ambassador Colin Murdoch who is a senior advisor to Browne, reported the news portal, Antigua News Room.

The website claimed that High Commissioner Mahalingam submitted the second extradition request from the Indian authorities, with amended charges. The Attorney-General assured Mahalingam that the documents would be put in the hands of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Mahalingam, who also had extensive discussions with the officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was assured of the full support of the Antigua and Barbuda government by the Prime Minister.

The high profile meeting came after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), through the Ministry of External Affairs, wrote a letter to the authorities in Antigua, asking them to arrest the fugitive diamantaire.

The multi-crore rupees scam was detected by the Punjab National Bank officials earlier this year, after Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi, allegedly cheated the bank to the tune of two billion dollars. .

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