In a big diplomatic win for India, the Antiguan Prime Minister on Tuesday said that the fugitive Mehul Choksi’s citizenship will be revoked and he will be repatriated to India. The revocation of citizenship will pave a way of extradition to India to start the trail process.
“His citizenship was processed; he got through but the reality is his citizenship will be revoked and he will be repatriated to India; so there is recourse. It’s not a case that we are trying to provide any safe harbour for criminals, for those who are involved in financial crimes,” Antigua Observer reported, quoting a statement by Prime Minister Browne.
“We have to allow for due process. He has a matter before the court and as we said to the Indian Government, criminals have fundamental rights, too, and Choksi has a right to go to court and defend his position. But I can assure you, after he has exhausted all of his legal options, he will be extradited,” Browne added.
The report cites Browne saying that Antigua and Barbuda ensure that the individuals who benefit from the country’s Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) will have to undergo intense security.
Browne further said that measures and due diligence will be implemented in future so that the on-going problem of criminals attempting to sidestep the CIP and use the twin-island as a place of refuge can be solved.
However, according to ANI, the Ministry of External Affairs is still waiting for an official statement from Antiguan government about revoking of Mehul Choksi’s citizenship.
Once revocation is completed, the extradition process can be started separately.
Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are the two key accused, wanted by Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Rs 13,000 crore alleged PNB scam.
Mehul Choksi had fled from India in early January 2018 and took oath of allegiance in Antigua on January 15, in the same year.