The Hindu – ‘I am a victim of political persecution’, says Mehul Choksi

Special Correspondent

New Delhi – India, 11 September 2018. Mehul Choksi, a diamond merchant who had allegedly masterminded the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud, has said in interviews to a section of the media that the case against him is baseless and he is a “victim of political persecution”.

Choksi, now an Antiguan citizen, has said he is a “soft target” for the Indian government because it finds it impossible to get other economic offenders extradited from the United Kingdom.

The Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate have filed chargesheets against him, his nephew Nirav Modi and others, accusing them of having swindled ₹14,000 crore through fraudulent issuance of Letters of Undertaking and Foreign Letters of Credit to their companies.

The cases were filed on the complaints from the bank.

Choksi has been accused of having defrauded the bank, through his Gitanjali group of companies, of over ₹7,500 crore.

‘Cannot pay dues’

Choksi has said all his assets have been attached by the Enforcement Directorate and he is in no position to pay off the dues. He has also blamed the scam on his employees.

He has said that he had taken the Antiguan citizenship to “expand his business” and that “human rights were violated” in India because of the action initiated by the investigating agencies.

He said he could not return to India as his passport had been revoked without explanation.

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