New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday said that the fugitive diamond merchant Mehul Choksi remains in the custody of authorities in Dominica s with certain legal proceedings underway and affirmed that all efforts will continue to be made to bring back fugitives to face justice in India. In a media interaction, MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the issue of economic offenders was discussed during the UK-India talks last month, and the British front had conveyed that there are some legal hurdles because of the nature of the criminal justice system in that country, but they would do whatever possible to make sure that such people are extradited at the earliest.
Asked about Choksi at the online media briefing, Bagchi said, “As regards Mehul Choksi, I don’t have any particular update this week. He remains in the custody of Dominican authorities and certain legal proceedings are underway.” He said India would continue to make all efforts to bring fugitives to face justice in India. The Dominica High Court has adjourned the bail hearing of Choksi till June 11, local media reports had stated.
Choksi went missing on May 23 from Antigua and Barbuda, where he has been staying since 2018 as a citizen. He was detained in neighbouring island country Dominica for illegal entry after a possible romantic escapade with a rumoured girlfriend.
However, his lawyers alleged that he was kidnapped from Jolly Harbour in Antigua by policemen looking like Antiguans and Indians and brought to Dominica on a boat.
Addressing a question on fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi, wanted in India for alleged fraud and money laundering in the PNB scam case, Bagchi said that on April 15, the UK secretary of state had ordered his extradition to India. “We understand that Nirav Modi is seeking to appeal against this decision. He remains in the custody of UK authorities,” he said.
On Vinay Mishra, against whom the CBI has issued a red corner notice in connection with its investigation in a case of cattle smuggling, Bagchi said he had nothing to share.
(With inputs from PTI)