In a dramatic development fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi is understood to have gone missing in Antigua and Bermuda with the police launching a manhunt to trace him since Sunday, local media outlets reported.
Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are wanted for allegedly siphoning off Rs 13,500 crore of public money from the state-run Punjab National Bank, using letters of undertaking.
While Modi is in a London prison after repeated denial of bail and is contesting extradition to India, Choksi had taken the citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda in 2017 using the Citizenship by Investment programme, before fleeing India in the first week of January 2018. The scam came to light subsequently. Both are facing CBI probe and wanted in India to face trail.
“Antiguanewsroom”, a local media outlet, quoted Commissioner of Police Atlee Rodney on Tuesday that the police are “following up on the whereabouts of Indian businessman Mehul Choksi”, who is “rumoured” to be missing.
The media reports say Choksi, who had taken the citizenship of the Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, was seen driving in the southern area of the island on Sunday.
Later, his vehicle was found but there was no trace of Choksi, the reports said. Questions sent to his lawyer about the reports remained unanswered.