Indian government still wants Choksi repatriated

The Indian government’s High Commissioner to Guyana and the Eastern Caribbean, Dr. K.J. Srinivasa, has again raised the issue of the repatriation of fugitive from Indian justice Mehul Choksi to face charges in his native country’s legal system.

Dr. Srinivasa made the request for Choksi’s deportation during a courtesy call Thursday with Prime Minister Gaston Browne, who assured the Indian High Commissioner that Choksi would be deported to India as soon as the legal process is completed here in Antigua and Barbuda.

Choksi is alleged to have been the mastermind of a massive fraud against one of India’s leading financial institutions, the Punjab National Bank. He attained Antigua and Barbuda citizenship through the Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP), and while India has formally requested his extradition, Choksi has waged a legal challenge in the courts to have the request nullified.

The High Commissioner also paid a courtesy call on Foreign Affairs Minister E.P. Chet Greene, during which a detailed accounting of India’s on-going programme of assistance to the country was done.

Greene reported that the Indian Government offered a USD 10 million line-of-credit to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda for solar energy and climate-change-related projects. To this end, he added, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is awaiting a proposal from the Department of Environment.

According to the minister, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs received communication from the Indian Government on special capacity building courses, training, and deputation of experts, based on priority needs and requirements of Antigua and Barbuda. The training courses are currently being offered virtually due to the pandemic.

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