Saint John's (Antigua and Barbuda) | Jagran News Desk: Fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi, wanted in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) case, fears that he might get kidnapped and may be taken to Guyana from where he may be taken to India in an "unlawful and illegal manner".

In an exclusive interview with news agency ANI, Choksi - an Antiguan citizen - noted that Guyana has a "strong Indian presence". He said that his lawyers are fighting cases in both Antigua and Dominica, expressing hopes that he will win.

"I'm seeking help for the disastrous state of my mental health as I am consumed by constant fear, numbed by the shock of my experiences in the past few months. I am unable to step outside my house despite my doctors' recommendations and I seek to avoid the limelight at all costs now. My poor health doesn't allow me to go and do anything," Choksi said.

"It is a matter of record the extent to which certain governments are willing to go to secure my presence, but I repose full faith in the legal systems of commonwealth countries and I'm sure that justice will prevail in the end," Choksi told ANI.

Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi had fled India in the first week of January 2018, weeks before the PNB scam rocked the Indian banking industry. The duo allegedly bribed officials of the state-run bank to get Letters of Undertaking (LoU) based on which they availed loans from overseas banks that remained unpaid.

The allegedly corrupt bank officials did not enter these LoUs in the core banking software of PNB, thus evading scrutiny. The non-payment of these LoUs or bank guarantees worth Rs 13,500 crore resulted in default and became a liability on the bank.

Choksi had mysteriously gone missing on May 23 from Antigua and Barbuda, where he has been staying since 2018 as a citizen since he fled Delhi. He was detained in neighbouring island country Dominica for illegal entry after a possible romantic escapade with his rumoured girlfriend.

His lawyers alleged that he was kidnapped from Jolly Harbour in Antigua by policemen looking like Antiguan and Indian and brought to Dominica on a boat. Meanwhile, Modi escaped to Europe and was finally held in London, where he is contesting his extradition to India. Choksi took the citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda in 2017.

With agencies inputs

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma