Fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi accused of Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank fraud has applied for bail once again in the Dominica High Court in connection with his illegal entry into the country. Choksi has been denied relief in the same matter on two prior occasions.
In early June, Choksi's request for bail was rejected by the Dominican District Court, after which he was transferred to the Dominican High Court. The high court also refused to bail the Indian businessman on the grounds of "flight risk".
For the uninitiated, Choksi mysteriously went missing on May 23,2021 from Antigua and Barbuda where he had been staying since 2018 as a citizen after he fled India weeks before the PNB scam came to light. He was later detained in neighboring Dominica for illegal entry and deemed to be a prohibited immigrant. The diamantaire claimed that he was forcefully abducted and taken to the Caribbean Island country.
Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne stated that he did not know" any conclusive evidence" but there is information in the public domain that Choksi was indeed abducted and law enforcement agencies may have some "persons of interest" after they investigate the case.
The case against Choksi in India
Choksi is wanted by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate in India in connection with the Rs 13,000-crore Punjab National Bank fraud case. The scam created a controversy in February 2018 when the bank informed the Bombay Stock Exchange that it had detected “fraudulent and unauthorized transactions” worth Rs 11,380 crore at a branch in South Mumbai.
At present Both Modi and Choksi are currently facing investigations by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
Mehul Choksi also faces two cases in Antigua and Barbuda. One involved his extradition to India and the other involved the revocation of his citizenship.
The Indian Ministry of External Affairs stated that India is committed to bringing back Mehul Choksi from Dominica.