India will continue to ensure that fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi is brought back to the country, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said here on Thursday.
“India remains steadfast in its efforts that fugitives are brought back to India. He is currently in the custody of Dominica with some legal proceedings underway. We will continue to ensure he is brought back to India,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said during a briefing.
Choksi had gone missing from Antigua on May 23 after going out for dinner and was soon caught in Dominica after Antigua police launched a manhunt for Mehul Choksi last month.
Choksi was charged with illegal entry by the police in Dominica after he allegedly escaped from Antigua and Barbuda in a possible attempt to evade extradition to India.
A Dominican court on Thursday denied bail to Mehul Choksi. During the hearing, Dominican Judge Bernie Stephenson said the fugitive businessman must answer the illegal entry charges into Dominica in Magistrates court.
Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are accused in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank fraud case. Choksi fled the country. He was granted citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda in January 2018. He is involved in a legal battle to prevent his extradition to India.
Meanwhile, the fugitive diamantaire’s lawyer Vijay Aggarwal said on Wednesday Choksi was kidnapped, he did not go to Dominica on his own free will and added that the only question in front of the Dominican court is whether he entered Dominica illegally or not and whether the local police has the right to keep him in custody.