Mehul Choksi arrested in Dominica; Antigua professes direct extradition to India

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    Fugitive Indian diamantaire Mehul Choksi, who went missing from residence in Antigua and Barbuda, has been taken into custody by Dominica Police. Dominica is a small island nation located in the Carribean sea.

    Meanwhile, the Antiguan PMO has asked Dominican government to treat Choksi has persona non grata and deport him directly to India for entering the country illegaly, ANI reported. Persona non grata in diplomatic terms refers to situation where diplomatic immunity of an individual from arrest and persecution is revoked.

    After someone from his household revealed that Choksi has been missing, the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda had started looking into the matter. The businessman, along with his nephew Nirav Modi, is one of the prime accussed in the Rs 14,700 crore PNB scam which came to light in February 2018.

    Choksi took the citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda in 2017 via the citizenship by investment route. He and Modi fled India in January 2018 before the scam could be brought into public light. While Modi has been hiding, and is now in custody, in London, Choksi was hiding in Antigua and Barbuda. He has two cases against him in the Carribean nation – one is related to his extradition to India and the second one is revocation of his Antiguan citizenship. Modi, on the other hand, is fighting his extradition case in UK courts.

    Local media reports said Choksi was last seen driving in the southern area of the island on Sunday. He was reportedly going for dinner at a well-known restaurant. Police have recovered his vehicle but were unable to trace him, reports suggested.

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    Police had reportedly launched a manhunt to trace the fugitive businessman on Sunday last week. A statement regarding his disappearance was issued and later shared with Interpol.