Prime Minister Gaston Browne on Wednesday reiterated that Mehul Choksi will be deported.
“Mehul Choksi – will be repatriated; it’s not a matter of if, but when,” Browne wrote in a post on social media.
This is not the first time that Prime Minister Browne has made this promise.
In September he said Choksi is a “crook” and will be repatriated to India after he exhausts all legal options, insisting that the bank fraud fugitives’ deportation is “just a matter of time”.
Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are wanted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the CBI for allegedly defrauding the Punjab National Bank(PNB) to the tune of Rs 13,400 crore.
Browne said Antigua and Barbuda has an independent judiciary and the matter is before the court.
“I can assure you that he will be ultimately deported after exhausting all his appeals. He will be extradited back to India to face whatever charges against him. It is just a matter of time,” he said.
“He is allegedly a crook. If we would have known that he is a crook, he could not have gotten the Antiguan citizenship,” Browne said on the 60-year-old jeweller’s deportation.
“He would be repatriated and sent back to India to face charges as he brings no value to Antigua and Barbuda.
The multi-crore PNB fraud came to light in early 2018. Both Choksi and Modi had fled the country before that. Modi, 48, is currently in a London jail.
The Enforcement Directorate in June told the Bombay High Court that it was ready to provide an air ambulance to bring Choksi to India.
Choksi, currently based in Antigua, told the high court that he left India for medical treatment and not to avoid prosecution in the case. He said he would return to India as soon as he is medically fit to travel.