Mehul Choksi in Antigua, left US weeks ago: Sources

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New Delhi, July 24 : Gitanjali Group of firms owner Mehul Choksi, the accused in over Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case along with his nephew Nirav Modi, moved to Carribbean nation of Antigua from the US weeks ago using a local passport, sources said here on Tuesday.

The revelation came from Antiguan authorities in response to a Central Bureau of Investigaiton (CBI) diffusion notice circulated to foreign countries through Interpol.

Pn July 11 the ED has asked a special court in Mumbai to declare diamond merchants Choksi and Nirav Modi as “fugitives” under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance 2018 because they fled from India a month before they were named in the fraudulent case on January 31.

The ED has been probing two cases of money laundering against Choksi, Nirav Modi and others under Prevention of Money Laundering Act on the basis of FIR registered by the CBI, the prime investigating agency of the case.

In these cases, the ED had on May 24 and May 26 filed prosecution complaints or charge sheets against Choksi and Nirav Modi. The court has taken cognisance of the charge sheets and issued non-bailable warrant against both the absconders.

On the request of ED and the CBI, the Interpol has also issued Red Corder Notice against Nirav Modi.