The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) has issued a red corner notice (RCN) against the absconding billionaire, Mehul Choksi. On Thursday, the CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said, “The Interpol has issued a Red Corner Notice against Mehul Choksi on the request of CBI.”
It is the third consecutive success of the CBI in the recent days. Last week, Indian authorities successfully secured extradition and brought back AgustaWestland scam middleman Christian Michel. Just a few days back, a UK court ordered the extradition of Vijay Mallya, and now due to CBI’s efforts and resolve, Interpol issued a Red Corner Notice against Nirav Modi.
The issuance of red notice against Choksi finally makes him a “fugitive” in 192 countries, which means there are strong possibilities that in the days to come he could no longer be enjoying luxury to travel to 32 countries on Antiguan passport, and there are strong chances that Choksi would get detained also.
The Red corner notice is issued to seek the location/arrest of a person wanted by a judicial jurisdiction or an international tribunal with a view to his/her extradition.
Earlier, Choksi had challenged the CBI’s application demanding issuance of Red Corner Notice against him. He called it a case of political conspiracy. Choksi also offered flimsy excuses such as the condition of jails in India, his personal safety and security etc. for not returning to India.
For more details: Mehul Choksi’s absurd excuse for not returning to India
The matter went to a five-member Interpol committee’s court, called Commission for Control of Files (CCF), which cleared the RCN rejecting absurd excuses offered by Choksi.
Mehul Choksi and nephew Nirav Modi are wanted by multiple agencies in India over charges of fraud of Rs 13,600 crore through fraudulent letters of undertaking (LoU) and foreign letters of credit. Their company, Gitanjali Gems Ltd, got a letter of undertaking, or LoU (essentially a bank guarantee against which another lender gives a foreign currency loan), from Brady House PNB branch, Mumbai without any collateral with the help of a senior bank official who also has been charged in the case. When the senior official retired, Gitanjali jems again applied for a LoU but some other bank official refused to give it without collateral. Later on, an internal investigation in the PNB revealed that many LoUs were issued to Gitanjali Gems without any collateral. According to the investigation agencies, both of them have inflated the value of diamonds, pearls, and jewelry which they have in their stores. ED found the value of the stock inflated three times in case of Modi’s firms and about 10 times in the case of Choksi’s firms.
Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi left the country in January, a few weeks before the scam broke in media. The case against Modi and Choksi is registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) which allows for the confiscation and seizure of properties obtained from the laundered money.
The Interpol has already issued RCN against Nirav Modi’s sister, Purvi Modi, a Belgian citizen and his brother, Neeschal Modi, in connection with the PNB money laundering case.
The CBI in separate charge-sheets has alleged that Choksi swindled Rs 7,080.86 crore, and Nirav Modi allegedly siphoned Rs. 6,000 crore, making it India’s biggest banking scam.
All these scamsters looted India tax payers’ money under the previous regime while the incumbent government is trying its level best to bring them to book. Basically, the noose is tightening on fugitive offenders and the Indian government is doing all it can to expedite the process. Indian agencies are doing a tremendous work in order to make sure that fugitive offenders get punished for their misdeeds.