New Delhi, July 27: Mehul Choksi may not be in Antigua after all. With the Indian agencies writing to Antigua seeking details about Choksi, an accused in the PNB fraud case, it is suspected that he may have left the country again.
Choksi said in a statement that he had applied for citizenship in Antigua lawfully to expand his business and obtain visa travel to 130 countries.
The Indian agencies who are keeping a track on him tell OneIndia that they are certain that Choksi is not in Antigua. He had applied for citizenship, but since the news of his location broke out, he has left that country as well. We are however in the process of ascertaining more details from the authorities in Antigua, the officer also said.
Antigua had released an official statement about Choksi getting citizenship in January, just before the PNB scam broke out.
It may be recalled that the US Department of Justice had told India that as per its assessment, Choksi had flown out of the US on an Antiguan passport. Choksi's location has been traced to several places since the scam broke out. It was first said that he was in Singapore and later New York. From New York, he fled to Antigua and now to an unknown destination.
Meanwhile, Choksi in a statement issued through his lawyer said, "I can state that I lawfully applied to be registered as a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda under the Citizenship by Investment Program. During the course of my application, I did all that was lawfully required of me to do. My application for citizenship was in due course approved. My application was motivated by my desire to expand my business interest in the Caribbean and to obtain visa free travel access to 130 or so countries. That remains my reason for choosing to become a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda."
"In January 2018 I had a need to visit the United States to receive medical treatment. Having received treatment I am still in a state convalescence. That being the case I have decided to reside in Antigua and Barbuda," he added in a press statement through his lawyer."