‘Several agencies responsible for granting clearance to Choski’

New Delhi: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy said the Mumbai Passport Office alone cannot be held responsible for clearing reports of fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi.

In an interview to ANI, Swamy argued that a passport office only gives clearance based on inputs from other agencies, and said the latter, particularly the Ministry of Finance, should issue clarifications on the same.

“Passport office cannot give clearance unless the Finance Ministry also gives clearance. The first raid that took place by the department of revenue intelligence was on January 14, 2017. Choksi and Nirav Modi and others had left country sometime during 2017 when they had cleared everything, therefore the Finance Ministry, particularly the Finance Secretary and the Revenue Secretary should answer why they did not follow up,”

The official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday said that it was the passport office in Mumbai which had given a Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) to Choksi on the basis of a clear Police Verification Report (PVR) available on his passport.

“We have seen media reports on the issue. Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) was issued to Mehul Choksi by Passport Office, Mumbai, for Antigua and Barbuda on March 16, 2017. The PCC was issued on the basis of a clear Police Verification Report (PVR) available on his passport,” a statement read.

Mehul Choksi, who is allegedly involved in a USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, has reportedly taken refuge in the Caribbean nation since July.

His valid passport was revoked in February after the scam was unearthed. (ANI)