The Congress on April 16 attacked the Centre after a court in Antigua and Barbuda reportedly ordered that fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi cannot be removed from the Caribbean country. The congress said that this happened due to the government’s “negligence”.
The Opposition party also alleged that “repeated negligence” shows that this is being done “intentionally”.
According to media reports, a court in Antigua and Barbuda has ruled in favour of Mr. Choksi, wanted in a ₹13,000-crore scam in the Punjab National Bank, ordering that he cannot be removed from that country.
In a tweet in Hindi, Congress general secretary, communications, Jairam Ramesh said, “Modi ji’s ‘Mehul Bhai’ has been enjoying abroad for many years with the money looted from our banks. Earlier his red corner notice was cancelled, now this decision of the court has come.”
“All this has happened because of the negligence of the Modi government. It is clear from the repeated negligence that this is being done intentionally,” Mr. Ramesh alleged.
The name of fugitive businessman Mr. Choksi was removed from the Interpol database of Red Notices on the basis of his plea. Red Notice is the highest level of alert by the 195-member strong International Police cooperation organisation Interpol to locate and provisionally arrest a fugitive pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action.
The International Criminal Police Organization, commonly known as Interpol is an international organization that facilitates worldwide police cooperation and crime control. It is the world’s largest international police organization. It is headquartered in Lyon, France, with seven regional bureaus worldwide, and a National Central Bureau in all 195 member states.
The Punjab National Bank Fraud Case relates to fraudulent letter of undertaking worth ₹11,356.84 crore (US$1.4 billion) issued by the Punjab National Bank at its Brady House branch in Fort, Mumbai. The fraud was allegedly organized by jeweller and designer Nirav Modi. Nirav, his wife Ami Modi, brother Nishal Modi and uncle Mehul Choksi, all partners of the firms, M/s Diamond R US, M/s Solar Exports and M/s Stellar Diamonds; along with PNB officials and employees, and directors of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi’s firms have all been named in a charge sheet by the CBI. Nirav Modi and his family absconded in early 2018, days before the news of the scam broke in India.
The bank initially said that two of its employees at the branch were involved in the scam, as the bank’s core banking system was bypassed when the corrupt employees issued LOUs to overseas branches of other Indian banks, including Allahabad Bank, Axis Bank, and Union Bank of India, using the international financial communication system, SWIFT. The transactions were noticed by a new employee of the bank. The bank then complained to the CBI, who is currently investigating the scam apart from ED and Reserve Bank of India.