New Delhi, Aug 3 (UNI) Calling it ‘shocking evidences’, the Congress party on Friday produced a series of documents and claimed that the Narendra Modi-led Union government has helped PNB fraud case accused Mehul Choksi to escape to the Caribbean country Antigua.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that “every organ of the Modi government- Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of External Affairs, Central Bureau of Investigation, Securities and Exchange Board of India- facilitated and gave clean chit to the ‘Rs 23,484 crore scam’ accused Choksi”.
“A press statement by the Citizenship Investment Unit of Antigua & Barbuda reveals as to how the Modi Government’s Ministry of External Affairs provided a ‘clean chit’ certificate to Mehul Choksi’s for citizenship of Antigua in May 2017. The clearance certified that there was ‘no adverse information’ against Mehul Choksi”, Surjewala said in a statement.
He pointed out that Choksi left India on January 4, 2018, and he had already got citizenship of Antigua in November 2017, which gave him visa-free access to travel around 132 nations.
“The complicity and connivance of Modi Govt in the escape” of Choksi has been exposed. “SEBI had also given ‘clean chit certificate’ to Mehul Choksi” when the Antigua government processed his application for the citizenship, Surjewala added.
Claiming that protection by CBI and ED to Choksi, also stands exposed and quoted the Citizenship Investment Unit (CIU) of Antigua, Surjewala said, “Were there an active warrant for Choksi at the time his citizenship application was being processed, this information should have already been made available to INTERPOL, a notification of which would have been readily accessible by the CIU and its due diligence partners. Further, the warrant should have formed a part of the criminal records database in India and therefore declared in the police clearance certificate issued by Ministry of External Affairs”.
“It is now clear that INTERPOL gave clearance to Mehul Choksi, as CBI/ED failed to get a warrant issued against him or provide the requisite evidence to INTERPOL”, said the Congress spokesperson.
Surjewala also asked why the Prime Minister did not raise the issue of Choksi’s citizenship with the Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne, when they had met on July 27, 2018.
“Browne, in an interview to a major television channel, on July 27, 2018 had said that the Indian government has not approached them on Choksi” Surjewala said.
The Congress spokesperson alleged that all the Central agencies, Gujarat and Maharashtra governments deliberately ignored evidence of fraud and multiple complaints against Nirav Modi and Choksi from May 7, 2015 onwards.
Referring to the various complaints to the investigation agencies and Prime Minister’s office on Choksi since 2015, the Congress leader asked why did the CBI and ED not move the INTERPOL for a warrant against Choksi or provide the requisite evidence of criminal fraud against him?
“Is it not correct that this deliberate failure on part of CBI and ED in providing evidence to INTERPOL, led to INTERPOL giving a clean chit to Choksi?
Alleging that the Modi government’s policy is to ‘loot and make them scoot’, Surjewala asked why did the MEA provide ‘clean chit certificate’ to Choksi May 2017, despite the complaints and evidence being available 2 years earlier i.e May 7, 2015, May 26, 2015, July 20, 2016, July 26, 2016 and May 3, 2017.
“Why did the SEBI gave a ‘clean chit’ to Choksi to help him secure the citizenship of Antigua?”, he asked.