New Delhi, July 30: The Indian government has requested Antigua to prevent Mehul Choksi from leaving the country. The request was made verbally and in writing, the Ministry for External Affairs said.
"As soon as MEA received info of likely presence of Mehul Choksi in Antigua, Indian envoy alerted the local govt, in writing and verbally, to confirm his presence in their territory and detain him and prevent his movement by land, air or sea," the ministry said.
The Indian High Commissioner in Antigua would be meeting with local authorities to discuss the issue. The move comes in the wake of Antigua saying that the lack of an extradition would not come in the way of the case relating to Choski, who is an accused in the PNB fraud case.
E P Chet Greene, minister of foreign affairs and immigration said that he was not aware that the government of Antigua and Barbuda had received any requests from any Indian government or law enforcement body for cooperation or extradition regarding Choksi, according to a report in the Antigua Observer.
He however added that if a request is received, the same shall be honoured. We will honour any legitimate request notwithstanding that we do not have any extradition agreements with India. That is the extent of our commitment to preserving the integrity of our programme," Greene said.
The comments were made a post Cabinet press conference. Members of opposition parties have questioned how thorough the vetting process could have been in 2017 if Choksi and his company, the Gitanjali Group were not long after, named as suspects in a massive fraud investigation.