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Mumbai Passport Office’s clean chit to Mehul Choksi cleared Antiguan citizenship

The government of India on Friday evening confirmed that a Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) was issued to fugitive diamond trader Mehul Choksi by Passport Office, Mumbai, for Antigua and Barbuda on March 16, 2017.

“The PCC was issued on the basis of a clear Police Verification Report (PVR) available on his passport,” a MEA spokesman said here in reply to a question here.

Thus, the Indian government is confirming a statement by the Citizenship by Investment Unit of the government of Antigua earlier in the day that the fugitive diamond trader Mehul Choksi had no “adverse information” in his passport.

“We have seen media reports on the issue. Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) was issued to Mehul Choksi by Passport Office, Mumbai, for Antigua and Barbuda on March 16, 2017. The PCC was issued on the basis of a clear Police Verification Report available on his passport,” MEA spokesman said.

All Passport Issuing Authorities can issue a ‘police clearance certificate’ if there is a clear Police Verification Report in the system. In case there is no PVR, then a fresh PVR is obtained prior to issuance of a PCC,” he explained.

Adding that the police verification report of Mehul Choksi – accused in the Rs 7,000 crore PNB scam was clear in the system at the time of issuance of PCC, “The process followed by Passport Office, Mumbai was as per extant instructions,” the MEA spokesperson added.

The Antiguan government’s CIU had said that Choksi’s application for citizenship in that country was received in May 2017 and the CIU, which is responsible for granting citizenship of the island country in exchange of financial investment, found no adverse remark on Choksi.

Savio Rodrigues

Savio Rodrigues Founder & Editor-in-Chief GoaChronicle.com

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