Saturday, Nov 17, 2018 | Last Update : 04:58 PM IST

Laxness aided Choksi’s flight

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Aug 6, 2018, 12:03 am IST
Updated : Aug 6, 2018, 12:54 am IST

The uncle and nephew team of Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi made modern India’s biggest bank heist in a $2 billion scam involving public funds.

Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, key accused in Punjab National Bank scam. (Photo: PTI/File)
 Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, key accused in Punjab National Bank scam. (Photo: PTI/File)

Ordering a probe into how a clearance certificate from the external affairs ministry’s Regional Passport Office in Mumbai was given to Mehul Choksi in March 2017 is like bolting the barn doors after the animals bolted. It’s the same regarding the extradition request sent to the Antigua and Barbuda government to try and bring the rogue diamantaire back home. These processes can take so long, including over appeals, that it could be frustrating, if not totally futile. The elaborate fraud on a nationalised bank went on even after several representations by the jeweller’s franchises and others in the jewellery trade who knocked on all doors of the investigative and law enforcement agencies, besides government departments and the Reserve Bank. It’s a clear case of inaction over serious allegations. The only thing to establish is whether all this inaction was deliberate or induced by bribes.

The uncle and nephew team of Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi made modern India’s biggest bank heist in a $2 billion scam involving public funds. As the aam aadmi sweated it out, the rich were consorting with diamantaires and buying jewels and gems. And the authorities acted as if they had no clue about the fraud, while Choksi plotted his departure from India to the Caribbean in May 2017. The blame doesn’t lie so much with these countries as with India for allowing such scams in its public sector banks, whose considerable NPAs are bolstered by such outright fraud as plotted by the diamantaires. The levels of alertness about industrialists trying to skip the country while owing thousands of crores to banks also appear to be extremely lax.

Tags: mehul choksi, nirav modi