ED offers to provide air ambulance with experts to bring Mehul Choksi from Antigua

ED has termed as 'a facade' an affidavit submitted by Choksi in which he claimed that he is unable to return due to health problems.

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has offered to provide an air ambulance and a team of medical experts to bring back fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi from Antigua and provide him with all necessary treatment in India.

In a counter affidavit submitted before the High Court, ED has termed as "a facade" an affidavit submitted earlier this week by Choksi in which he claimed that he is unable to return to India due to persistent health problems.

"The medical reasons and conditions appear to be facades being erected merely to mislead the court in an obvious attempt to delay the lawful proceedings. We are ready to provide an expert medical team along with an AIR ambulance to bring him from Antigua to India under medical supervision," the ED stated in its counter affidavit.

The central agency further stated that Choksi has never cooperated in the investigation into the Rs 13,000 crore PNB scam.

The agency also informed that Choksi claims that his assets worth Rs 6129 crore have been seized, it is wrong because during probe ED has attached assets worth Rs 2100 crore assets. The ED also maintained that the fugitive diamantaire was trying to sell all his assets before fleeing from India.

"He (Mehul Choksi) never cooperated in the investigation. A non-bailable warrant was issued against him. A Red Notice was issued by the Interpol. He has refused to return, he is, therefore, a fugitive and an absconder," the ED stated.

The law enforcement agency in its rejoinder has said that Choksi was given several opportunities to join the probe but he evaded questioning.

This development in the case came after when on June 17, Choksi had submitted an affidavit in the Mumbai High Court, stating that he is residing in Antigua and was willing to co-operate in the investigation into Rs 13,000 crore PNB scam.

Showing his willingness to cooperate with the investigating agencies -- Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) -- he sought a direction to them to conduct the investigation in Antigua.

Choksi also said that he will travel to India as soon as he is medically fit to travel.

"I am ready to undergo any medical examination by an authority to prove the veracity of the claims made by me," he added.

He said that the claim made by the ED that he is not joining the probe is wrong.

He further said that has never shied away from facing the law and responded to the summons by the ED and the CBI or any other investigating agency.

Choksi and nephew Nirav Modi are key accused in the PNB fraud case. They fled the country a year ago. The scam is estimated at USD two billion.

Choksi was granted citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda on January 15, 2018.

On March 22, Choksi had moved an application before the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court, stating his long history of heart ailment and a blood clot in the brain as the reason for not being able to appear before it.

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