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CBI to Interpol: Will provide Mehul Choksi requisite protection

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Written by Rashmi Rajput | Mumbai | Updated: July 10, 2018 2:10:28 am

While the ED is probing the money laundering aspect in the case, the CBI is investigating the misuse of office by public servants and the alleged criminal conspiracy entered between the arrested bankers and private persons to defraud a state-owned bank and cause it a loss of Rs 13,578 crore.

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While countering  Mehul Choksi’s plea that there is a law and order breakdown in India, the CBI has allegedly told the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) that the state would provide the requisite protection to the diamantaire, who is an accused in the alleged Rs 13,578-crore Punjab National Bank fraud.  The CBI had requested Interpol to issue a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against Choksi, who is being probed by both CBI and ED.

Sources said that to Choksi’s claims that “he is a victim of a political offence”, the CBI in its reply has stated that he is an “economic offender” and is wanted in India. The agency’s response will be forwarded by the Ministry of External Affairs to Interpol, sources added.

ALSO READ | PNB fraud case: Can’t travel to India, threat to life due to mob lynching trend, says Mehul Choksi

Last week, the Interpol had issued a RCN against Choksi’s nephew Nirav Modi, his brother Neeshal Modi and close aide Subhash Parab — all accused in the alleged fraud.

An official said: “In his application, Choksi has contested that he is a victim of a ‘political offence’ and not that of a ‘criminal conspiracy’. He has also raised fears of not being provided adequate security and that the jails in Maharashtra are not secured. We have responded to these claims… we have mentioned that Choksi is wanted in an economic offence and not a political offence as contended by him. The economic offence is grave in nature to the tune of Rs 13.578 crore and he should be tried as per the laws of our country.”

“On the bit of the current law and order situation in the country, we have assured that the state will make all the necessary security arrangements to ensure his safety,” he added.

The official said that in his letter, Choksi has also raised concerns of threat to life from his employees, who have not been paid since January. “We cannot stop the employees from protesting for their dues but as far as his security is concerned, we have reaffirmed that the state will make the necessary arrangements.”

He added that these are tactics employed by Choksi to delay the issuance of a RCN . “Since Interpol ensures that there is no human rights violation before issuing a RCN, Choksi is taking advantage of it and has written to them. However, we have a strong case against him and are hopeful that the RCN against him would be issued soon.”

While the ED is probing the money laundering aspect in the case, the CBI is investigating the misuse of office by public servants and the alleged criminal conspiracy entered between the arrested bankers and private persons to defraud a state-owned bank and cause it a loss of Rs 13,578 crore.

The ED has filed the chargesheet under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act-2002. The CBI, meanwhile, has filed two chargesheets under IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act-1988.  The ED’s probe is based on the predicate offence registered by the CBI, which is mandated under the PMLA.

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