The CBI began its probe into the fraud after registering a case in January on receipt of a complaint from the PNB.
Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate will send a reques-t/reminder to the Interpol to expedite the issuance of a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against fugitive jeweller Mehul Choksi, who is wanted in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case, related to the alleged fraudulent issuance of letters of undertaking (LoU), worth over Rs 12,000 crore to firms controlled by him and co-accused fugitive jeweller Nirav Modi, said sources.
A RCN warrants the detention of the subject globally after which he/she can be extradited/deported. “We are awaiting the issuance of RCN against Mehul Choksi and a reminder would be sent the Interpol through proper channels to expedite the issuance,” said an agency source.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ED are probing the case separately. The CBI had earlier sent a request to Interpol for the issuance of RCNs against four of the case accused, including Choksi after submitting its first case chargesheet in May. While the Interpol had issued RCNs against Modi and two others in June-end, it sought clarifications on the probes against Choksi.
“We had replied to the clarifications sought by Interpol, after which no further clarification was sought by it,” said a CBI source.
The CBI had recently taken steps to get Choksi extradited from Caribbean tax haven Antigua whose citizenship he procured in November 2017 at a time when the scam was undetected.
CBI sources said the agency has cited three grounds on the basis of which Choksi can be brought back. The agency had referred to the principle of reciprocity where fugitives can be exchanged between two countries as and when required, the principle of dual criminality, which states that the alleged charge on the fugitive should be an offence in both the countries, and the United Nations Convention against Corruption.
The CBI began its probe into the fraud after registering a case in January on receipt of a complaint from the PNB. The bank allegedly first got wind of the fraud after the representatives of the accused firms had approached it for the issuance of LOUs on January 16. The LOUs were, however, denied to them as it was found that they did not have the sanction. Later, ED initiated its money-laundering probe in the case.