The government of Dominica has declared fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi a prohibited immigrant, India Today reported on Thursday.
Choksi’s legal team has claimed that he had been abducted from the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda. On June 2, his lawyer Vijay Aggarwal had told ANI that under Section 6 of Dominica’s Passport and Immigration Act, Choksi was not a prohibited immigrant and hence the police cannot arrest him.
But, Dominica’s Ministry of National Security and Home Affairs declared the 62-year-old businessman a prohibited immigrant on May 25. The country’s Internal Security Minister Rayburn Blackmoore said in a notice that the police has been instructed to take all necessary actions to have him repatriated in accordance with the procedure laid out in Section 5(1) (1) of the Immigration and Passport Act.
A separate notice was also sent to Choksi on the same day, telling him that he is not permitted to enter Dominica, according to the Hindustan Times.
The case so far
Choksi is wanted by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate in India in connection with the Rs 13,000-crore Punjab National Bank fraud case. The scam created a controversy in February 2018 when the bank informed the Bombay Stock Exchange that it had detected “fraudulent and unauthorised transactions” worth Rs 11,380 crore at a branch in South Mumbai.
Choksi had been reported missing by his family on May 23 from Antigua and Barbuda, where he has been staying since 2018 as a citizen after fleeing India before the fraud came to light, PTI reported.
He has been in judicial custody in Dominica since May 24, charged with illegally entering the country. The High Court on Wednesday adjourned the bail hearing in the case of his illegal entry into the country till June 11.
In his complaint dated June 2, Choksi named a woman who he claims entrapped him. He also claimed “Indian men” – Narender Singh, Arminder Singh and Gurmit Singht – were behind the kidnapping plan.