'Extremely busy in businesses abroad': Choksi again refuses to return
Embattled businessmen Mehul Choksi, uncle of diamantaire Nirav Modi and Gitanjali Gems chairman, has once again refused to return to India. "Regional Passport Office hasn't communicated with me & my passport remains suspended," he wrote to CBI. "(I) assure you I'm not making any excuse whatsoever," Choksi adds. This was in response to fresh summons issued by CBI in the Rs. 12,600cr PNB scam.
How India's biggest scam unfolded
Modi, diamantaire to global celebrities, and Choksi, Gitanjali Gems chairman, have been accused of defrauding PNB of Rs. 12,650cr. Firms linked to them allegedly acquired fraudulent letters of undertaking (LoUs) from PNB during 2011-17 and based on them, obtained loans from foreign branches of Indian banks. Modi, his family and Choksi left India weeks before the scam was detected last month.
Nirav Modi told ED he couldn't return since passport revoked
On February 16, the MEA suspended the passports of Modi and Choksi for four weeks as probe continued. Responding to ED and CBI summons, Modi had cited his revoked passport as the reason for failure to return. He also quoted business engagements abroad. The Bureau of Immigration has since issued a Blue Corner notice against Modi and Choksi. But their current location remains unknown.
Choksi cites passport suspension, threats to family, biased probe
Repeating Modi's arguments, Choksi had written to CBI earlier this month, saying he couldn't return as his passport had been revoked, his family faced threats, the probe is unfair, and moreover, his health doesn't allow him to travel.
Have the deepest respect for CBI, writes Choksi
Writing to the agency again, Choksi said the issues he raised earlier "remain unaddressed, making my fear of safety rise to extreme levels." He reiterated the probe is unfair and "media...blows every issue out of proportion." "I'm extremely held up in my business abroad and working hard to resolve the issues," he wrote. "I have the deepest respect for your offices," Choksi adds.