New Delhi / St. John’s : Defending himself, fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi on Tuesday said that all allegations against him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) are “false and baseless.”
“All the allegations labeled by the ED are false and baseless. They have attached my properties illegally without there being any basis of the same,” Choksi said in his first interview since the multi-crore rupee scam tumbled out.
All questions by ANI to Choksi were asked by his lawyer in Antigua.
Prime accused in the over USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank scam along with his nephew Nirav Modi, Choksi is absconding and is currently in Antigua.
Choksi further told that he tried to revoke the suspension of his passport with the Indian authorities.
“The passport authorities revoked my passport altogether in view of which I was immobilize. On February 16, I received an email from the passport office which said that my passport has been suspended due to reasons of security threat to India. On February 20, I sent an email to the regional passport office, Mumbai, requesting them to revoke the suspension of my passport. However, I did not receive any reply from the regional passport office,” he said.
Choksi further alleged that he was not given a reason for the cancellation of his passport.
“The regional passport office did not give an explanation as to why my passport has been suspended and how I was a security threat to India. Hence, as my passport was suspended, there was no question of surrendering the same,” stated Choksi.
Meanwhile, an ED investigation has found that absconding jeweller Mehul Choksi diverted over Rs 3,250 crore funds, allegedly defrauded from a PNB branch in Mumbai, to foreign shores and he was in business of “highly inflating” prices of precious metals sold from his outlets.
The agency said Choksi was “using several dummy companies” to rotate funds and to divert money for his personal use.
The Congress on Tuesday questioned why diamantaire Mehul Choksi was allowed to keep his Indian passport until February this year and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his office of complicity in his escape.