Choksi alerted Hong Kong entities in 2017, destroyed evidence: CBI
New Delhi, June 17: The Central Bureau of Investigation has said in a supplementary chargesheet that a month after fugitive businessman, Mehul Choksi left the country, the original applications submitted by Gitanjali Gems to the Punjab National Bank were shifted with an intention to cause their disappearance.
Choksi had in December 2017 visited Hong Kong and met with dummy directors of his supplier entities and appraised them about the problems that his Gitanjali Group was facing in India. He also told them that they may have to face inquiry by the Enforcement Directorate.
Further the CBI said that the complaint by the PNB was filed only two months later in February 2018 and a month after Choksi left the country on January 4 2018. Further the CBI said that the 165 fraudulent Letters of Undertaking which were issued by the PNB in March and April 2017 and all the original applications which were meant to be with the bank were returned to Gitanjali Group of Companies.
"These applications along with documents were recovered during searches conducted by the CBI from the premises taken on rent by an employee of Choksi at the instance of (co-accused) Vipul Chitalia," the CBI said.
The documents were shifted from a shop in Khetwadi to another location with the intention of causing their disappearance.. However they were recovered later during the searches undertaken by the agency.
Choksi's lawyer, Vijay Aggarwal in a statement however said that the supplementary chargesheet after three years shows that it is only an attempt to cover up anomalies that the defence has pointed out in the first chargesheet. Moreover, addition of section 201 IPC of destruction of evidence is not legally tenable as a document becomes evidence only after filing of (before) the court, and the allegations are of a period much prior to even (the) FIR."
The supplementary chargesheet mentioned that a total of 437 Foreign Letters of Credit which were issued between 2014 and 2016 and their values had been allegedly enhanced.
"Investigation revealed that semi-finished pearl-studded jewellery was being exported to Hong Kong by the three accused companies. The Gitanjali Group companies used to dismantle the jewellery in Hong Kong and the same pearls were then exported from the supplier entities to companies linked with Choksi in India," the supplementary chargesheet filed by the CBI also added.