In a dramatic turn of events, fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi has suddenly has gone missing from Antigua, confirmed his legal team on Tuesday morning. The prime accused in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money laundering case had fled to Antigua in 2018 after the CBI and ED had initiated a probe against him.
Advocate Vijay Aggarwal, representing Choksi in courts, said, "He (Choksi) has gone missing. His family members are disturbed, worried and anxious. I learnt this from the family as they had called me to discuss."
"The Antiguan Police is investigating the missing case," Aggarwal confirmed further.
Meanwhile, according to Enforcement Directorate (ED), this development won't make any impact on the probe launched by the agency.
"We have learnt from the media about him going missing. However, this would hardly impact our probe," said special ED counsel Hiten Venegaonkar.
"We will continue with our probe and attaching of his (Choksi) properties and other proceedings against him," Venegaonkar added.
Notably, a special PMLA court here had earlier this month issued a public notice against Nirav Modi, Choksi's nephew for attaching his properties. Modi is another prime accused in the case and is presently in the United Kingdom.
Choksi had fled to Antigua as the country hasn't signed any extradition agreement with India.
According to local Antiguan media, Choksi might have landed in Cuba, another country that has no agreement for extradition with India. It is being reported that Choksi had gone out on Monday evening to have dinner in a restaurant and hasn't returned home yet. Later, his car was traced but his whereabouts are not known yet.
As per media reports, the central agencies have written to the Antiguan embassy in India seeking details of Choksi's missing report.
Notably, the Interpol had in 2018 issued a red corner notice.