Interpol alert may have helped nab Mehul Choksi
New Delhi, May 27: Fugitive businessman, Mehul Choksi was apprehended by the Dominica police after he illegally landed in a boat from Antigua.
Sources tell OneIndia that he may have been apprehended following an Interpol alert. The government of Antigua had approached the Interpol and other international police agencies in the region to trace Choksi.
Dominica Police Spokesperson said Choksi has been arrested from North of Dominica and will be extradited soon back to Antigua.
The media reports had said Choksi, who had taken the citizenship of the Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, was seen driving in the southern area of the island on Sunday.
Later, his vehicle was found but there was no trace of Choksi, the reports said.
In 2018, the Interpol had issued a Red Corner Notice against Choksi accused of defrauding Punjab National Bank to the tune of ₹ 13,000 crore in alleged collusion with his nephew Nirav Modi.
"The Interpol has issued a Red Corner Notice against Mehul Choksi on the request of CBI," CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal had said.
Choksi, who escaped in the first week of January this year after he and his companies allegedly cheated the bank of ₹ 7,000 crore, has taken citizenship of Antigua.
A Red Corner Notice is a kind of international arrest warrant where Interpol asks its member countries to arrest or detain a fugitive, wanted by another member country, if he is detected in their respective jurisdictions.
Choksi had challenged the CBI application seeking issuance of Red Corner Notice against him calling the case a result of political conspiracy, sources said. He also raised questions on issues such as jail conditions in India, his personal safety and health, they added.
The matter went to a five-member Interpol committee's court, called Commission for Control of Files, which cleared the RCN rejecting his contentions, sources said.
The CBI has charge sheeted both Nirav Modi and Choksi separately in the scam.
The CBI, in its charge sheets, had alleged that Choksi swindled ₹ 7,080.86 crore, making it the country's biggest banking scam at over ₹ 13,000 crore.
Nirav Modi allegedly siphoned ₹ 6,000 crore.
An additional loan default of over ₹ 5,000 crore to Choksi's companies is also a matter of probe under the CBI.
It is alleged that Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi through their companies availed credit from overseas branches of Indian banks using guarantees given through fraudulent LoUs and letters of credit, which were not repaid, thereby bringing the liability on the state-run bank, officials said.
An LoU is a guarantee given by an issuing bank to Indian banks having branches abroad to grant short-term credit to the applicant.
The instructions for transferring funds were allegedly issued by a bank employee, Gokulnath Shetty, using an international messaging system for banking called SWIFT platform and without making their subsequent entries in the PNB's internal banking software, officials said.