PNB fraud: MEA keen on extraditing Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi, awaits response from authorities in Antigua, UK

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), on Thursday, confirmed it has tabled an extradition request for Gitanjali Gems' boss Mehul Choksi, with authorities in Antigua and Barbuda. The MEA hasn't heard from the island nation as yet.

Furthermore, the MEA told journalists in New Delhi that it is awaiting a response from the UK government as to the whereabouts of fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, News18 reported.

Both Choksi and Modi are wanted in India for allegedly defrauding the Punjab National Bank (PNB) of roughly Rs 14,000 crore. The duo reportedly worked with PNB staffers to pull-off the scam.

India is looking to bring back Choksi from Antigua under the provision of a law of the island nation which provides for extradition of a fugitive to a designated Commonwealth country, official sources told the PTI on 6 August. The MEA issued a gazette notification on 3 August to make the Antiguan law enforceable. India and Antigua do not have a bilateral extradition pact.

Earlier in the month, the Indian High Commission in London handed over extradition request documents for Modi, to the UK Central Authority. The unit within the UK government's Home Office would process the request, which falls under mutual legal assistance requests, to assist in criminal investigations or proceedings, before an extradition warrant can be issued against Modi, the news agency reported on 4 August.

Modi's whereabouts remain unknown, but the UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) informed the Indian government in June that New Delhi can initiate extradition proceedings despite the uncertainty.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Aug 09, 2018 17:24:42 IST

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