Fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi goes missing: Antiguan police

Fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi, wanted in a ₹13,500-crore loan fraud in Punjab National Bank, has gone missing in Antigua and Barbuda where he had been staying since January 2018, the Royal Police Force of the Caribbean island nation said in a statement. The police force which has launched a missing person operation issued a statement along with the photograph of the businessman seeking information from public. "The Police are investigating a Missing Person Report made of 62-year-old Mehul Choksi of Jolly Harbour. Mehul was reported missing on Sunday 23rd May 2021 at the Johnson Point Police Station," the statement said.

Choksi was last seen on Sunday in his car which was recovered by the police following searches but he could not be found, it said.

Antiguanewsroom", a local media outlet, quoted Commissioner of Police Atlee Rodney on Tuesday that the police are "following up on the whereabouts of Indian businessman Mehul Choksi", who is "rumoured" to be missing.

The media reports say Choksi, who had taken the citizenship of the Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, was seen driving in the southern area of the island on Sunday.

Choksi's lawyer Vijay Aggarwal confirmed the reports.

Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are wanted for allegedly siphoning off ₹13,500 crore of public money from the state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB), using letters of undertaking.

While Modi is in a London prison after repeated denial of bail and is contesting extradition to India, Choksi had taken the citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda in 2017 using the Citizenship by Investment programme, before fleeing India in the first week of January 2018. The scam came to light subsequently.