Mehul Choksi, the 62-year-old fugitive diamantaire wanted by the CBI and Enforcement Directorate in connection with a 14,000 crore PNB loan fraud and money-laundering case, has gone missing in Antigua and Barbuda, a Caribbean island nation where he fled in 2018.
Vijay Aggarwal, Mr. Choksi’s lawyer, has confirmed on Tuesday morning that his client is missing and that his family is looking for him. He also stated that Antiguan police had launched a manhunt for him.
According to Antigua Newsroom, Police Commissioner Atlee Rodney stated that his officers were “following up on the whereabouts of Indian businessman Mehul Choksi.”
The media reports have stated that Choksi left his home Monday evening to go to dinner at a restaurant in the island’s south. He hasn’t been seen or heard from since. His vehicle was later discovered, but there was no sign of him, according to local news outlets.
Mehul Choksi is involved in a protracted legal battle to prevent his extradition to India.
Choski is currently an Antiguan citizen. Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne stated last year that citizenship would be revoked once all legal options had been exhausted.
Mr. Choksi’s lawyer responded in March to media reports that his citizenship had been revoked by an Antiguan civil court. Mr. Aggarwal stated that Mehul Choksi is still an Antiguan citizen.
Mr. Choksi has claimed time and again that the charges against him are false, baseless, and motivated by political expediency. Mr. Choksi’s nephew, billionaire jeweler Nirav Modi, 50, is also wanted in the PNB scam case. Modi, like his uncle, fled India in 2018 and is now in the United Kingdom.
The British government approved Nirav Modi’s extradition to India last month. Mr. Modi, on the other hand, can still challenge the extradition order in the UK High Court.