PNB fraud case: Mehul Choksi not in US, says Interpol

Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi

New Delhi, July 16: The Interpol Washington has said that absconding diamantaire Nirav Modi’s uncle Mehul Choksi is not in the United States .While a three-member Enforcement Directorate (ED) team has reached Singapore to track fugitive diamond jeweller Nirav Modi, wanted in India in a Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case,

According to government sources, the Interpol Washington responded to India’s request last Wednesday stating that Choksi is not in the US. India has written back to the Interpol seeking further details of Choksi’s whereabouts, the sources added.

On June 11, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed two separate applications in a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai against Nirav and Choksi under Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018.

The ED also sought orders for confiscation of their assets in India, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.

Sources said, Nirav has not sought political asylum in the UK. The 47-year-old is reportedly in the UK and needs to be extradited. A non-bailable warrant (NBW) has already been issued against him.

On June 28, an official of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said India requested a group of countries to deny Nirav’s entry. The MEA also sought assistance from some European countries including France, the UK and Belgium to trace and restrict Nirav’s movements.

The PNB detected the multi-crore scam earlier this year wherein Nirav and Choksi had allegedly cheated the bank to the tune of USD 2 billion, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank.

“Our team is in Singapore to ready the case against Nirav Modi,” a highly placed ED source told

The team will meet the authorities in Singapore to present India’s case.

On Wednesday, the ED approached a special court in Mumbai seeking to declare Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi as fugitives as they fled from India a month before they were named in the fraud case.

On July 2, the Interpol issued a Red Corner Notice against Nirav Modi in connection with the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam. The RCN has also been issued against Nirav’s brother Nishal Modi and his company’s executive Subhash Parab in connection with the scam.

Nirav Modi left India along with his family in the first week of January, weeks before the scam was reported to the CBI. His wife Ami, a US citizen, left on January 6 and Choksi on January 4.

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