The name of fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi wanted in a Rs 13,000-crore scam in the Punjab National Bank is understood to have been removed from the Interpol database of Red Notices on the basis of his plea to the Lyon-headquartered agency, people in the know of the development said.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) remained tight-lipped on the development.
The Red Notice is highest form of alert issued by the 195-member country-strong Interpol to law enforcement agencies worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action.
Requests seeking comments of the CBI and the legal team of Choksi remained unanswered.
The Interpol had issued the Red Notice against Choksi in 2018, nearly 10 months after he fled from India in January that year to take refuge in Antigua and Barbuda, where he had taken citizenship.
Choksi had challenged the CBI application seeking issuance of Red Notice against him, calling the case a result of political conspiracy, sources said. He had also raised questions on issues such as jail conditions in India, his personal safety and health, they added.
The matter had gone to a five-member Interpol committee’s court, called Commission for Control of Files, which had cleared the RCN (Red Notice) rejecting his contentions, sources said.
The CBI has charge sheeted both Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi separately in the scam.
The agency, in its charge sheets, had alleged that Choksi swindled Rs 7,080.86 crore, making it one of the biggest banking scam in the country at over Rs 13,000 crore. Nirav Modi allegedly siphoned Rs 6,000 crore. An additional loan default of over Rs 5,000 crore to Choksi’s companies is also a matter of probe under the CBI.
With inputs from NDTV