New Delhi:

Fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi, needed in a 13.5 billion rupee mortgage fraud on the National Bank of Punjab, has disappeared in Antigua and Barbuda, the place he has been staying since January 2018, his lawyer and the Royal Police of the Caribbean nation mentioned. .

The nation’s prime minister, Gaston Browne, has mentioned that he “has no reliable information to date” that Choksi has fled the nation and that he’s more than likely nonetheless in Antigua and Barbuda.

In a press release to the Antigua and Barbuda Parliament, Browne mentioned authorities have been “collaborating” with the Indian authorities, neighboring international locations and the worldwide police group to attempt to find Choksi.

“Someone from his home indicated that he is missing. Since then, the Royal Police of Antigua and Barbuda issued a statement to that effect. That statement will be shared with Interpol,” he mentioned.

Browne mentioned Choksi has two circumstances in opposition to him within the Antigua and Barbuda courts, extradition and revocation of citizenship, so he has introduced in a celebrated UK lawyer to signify him and this confirmed his willingness to remain and dispute . the circumstances.

“I don’t think law enforcement or anyone else would have contemplated that Choksi had fled the country. In any case, we have no reliable information to date that he has fled the country. It is likely that he is still here and the law Enforcement law enforcement is using every effort, including all intelligence, to try to locate Mr. Choksi, “he mentioned.

Prime Minister Browne additionally performed down “speculations” that Choksi had fled to Cuba since no plane with a flight plan that had him as a passenger has left the nation, leaving the one choice to journey by boat. It is “unlikely” that he would have reached Cuba in 36 hours by boat, he mentioned.

“The forces of order continue to collaborate with the regional and international police to locate him in case he has escaped. I maintain to the president that we do not have any reliable information until the date that he has escaped,” Browne mentioned in his Statement to the Parliament of Antigua and Barbuda.

The businessman was final seen Sunday in his automotive. Police recovered the automobile after a search, however Choksi couldn’t be discovered, a press release from Antigua police mentioned Monday night time India time.

His lawyer, Vijay Aggarwal, confirmed that Choksi has been lacking since Sunday.

“Antigua police have launched search operations for him. The family is concerned for his safety. We are keeping an eye on developments,” Aggarwal instructed PTI on Tuesday.

The Central Bureau of Investigation, which is investigating the allegations in opposition to Choksi, is verifying the reviews by means of “formal and informal” channels, together with Interpol which issued a purple nook discover in opposition to him on the company’s request, officers right here mentioned. .

The Antigua police assertion, which launched a lacking individuals operation on Sunday, carries {a photograph} of the businessman and seeks information from the general public.

“Police are investigating a missing person report of Mehul Choksi, 62, of Jolly Harbor. Mehul was reported missing on Sunday May 23, 2021 at the Johnson Point Police Station,” he mentioned.

Antiguanewsroom, an area media outlet, quoted Police Commissioner Atlee Rodney as saying that police are “tracking the whereabouts of Indian businessman Mehul Choksi”, who’s “rumored” to be lacking.

Media reviews mentioned that Choksi, who had taken citizenship of the island nation, was seen driving within the southern space of ​​the island on Sunday.

Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are needed for allegedly diverting 13,500 million rupees of public cash from the state-run Punjab National Bank (GNP) by means of letters of dedication.

While Modi is in a London jail after being repeatedly denied bail and is difficult his extradition to India, Choksi obtained Antigua and Barbuda citizenship in 2017 utilizing the Citizenship by Investment program earlier than fleeing India within the first week of January 2018. subsequently got here to gentle.

They each face a CBI probe.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is posted from a syndicated feed.)