The Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a statement today said it attached properties worth Rs 24 crore belonging to diamond trader Mehul Choksi. Three commercial properties in Dubai, a Mercedes Benz E280 car, a fixed deposit account and several other valuables were seized by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) over the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case.
The probe agency said that as of now, it had seized properties worth Rs 2,534 crore from the diamond trader. The ED also said Mehul Choksi's illegally acquired properties are worth more than Rs 6,000 crore.
The fugitive diamond trader had earlier obtained citizenship from the island nation of Antigua. He has been living there since January last year, months before the fraud case broke.
Mehul Choksi cited a long history of health issues, including heart problems and a blood clot in the brain, as well as risk to his life as the reasons behind his moving there.
Antigue's Prime Minister Gaston Browne last month said the nation is not a "safe harbor for criminals" including those involved in financial crimes.
He also said the nation would scrap Choksi's citizenship soon after he exhausted his legal options, after which he would be extradited and stand trial in the PNB fraud case.
"Choksi's citizenship was processed, he got through. We do have recourse, the reality is that his citizenship will be revoked and he will be deported to India," the Antigua Observer reported Prime Minister Brown as saying.
Mehul Choksi is the uncle of diamantaire Nirav Modi, who is also wanted in the case. Nirav Modi, who had escaped to London earlier, was arrested there and is also facing extradition.
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