Fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi issued a video statement to ANI on Tuesday, saying all allegations against him in connection with the alleged scam at the Punjab National Bank were “false and baseless”. Choksi is absconding and is currently in Antigua and Barbuda. This is his first interview since the scam of over Rs 13,500 crore came to light in February.

“All the allegations labelled by the Enforcement Directorate are false and baseless,” Choksi claimed. “They have attacked my properties illegally without there being any basis of the same.”

Choksi said he had tried to revoke the suspension of his passport with Indian authorities, but he did not receive a reply, nor was he told how he posed a security threat.

“The passport authorities revoked my passport altogether in view of which I was immobilised,” he said. “On February 16, I received an email from the passport office which said that my passport has been suspended due to reasons of security threat to India. On February 20, I sent an email to the regional passport office, Mumbai, requesting them to revoke the suspension of my passport. However, I did not receive any reply from the regional passport office.”

Choksi fled India in January, a few weeks before the scam at Punjab National Bank came to light. He and his nephew Nirav Modi are accused of defrauding the bank of over Rs 13,000 crore.

Choksi was granted citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda in November 2017. Last month, he said he had “lawfully applied” to become a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda to expand his business interests in the Caribbean.