Cong accuses PMO of complicity in Choksi escape

Mehul Choksi.

The Congress on Tuesday renewed its attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing him of being complicit in giving PNB scam accused Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi an easy escape from the country.

The Congress' attack came hours after fugitive businessman Choksi in a video message claimed that all charges levelled against him by the Enforcement Directorate as "false and baseless".

Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala claimed complaints against Choksi had been sent to the Prime Minister's Office, Enforcement Directorate and Serious Fraud Investigation Office at regular intervals since May 2015.

“Shockingly, the PMO has admitted that it had forwarded the complaints against Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi to the finance department on March 1, 2018, – only after the two had escaped from the country," Surjewala said flashing a response to a parliamentary question by the finance ministry.

Surjewala said complaints against Choksi and Nirav Modi had been filed by one Vaibhav Khuraniya and one Hariprasad in 2015 and Digvijaysinh Jadeja in 2016.

He said Khuraniya had also complained to the SEBI in 2017.

The Congress leader also cited a statement by Antigua's Citizenship By Investment Unit (CIU) that made it clear that Choksi was granted citizenship of Antigua only after getting clearance from the Ministry of External Affairs, SEBI as well as agencies such as Interpol.

"The CIU has lifted the cover from the sins committed by every organ of the Modi government – PMO, MEA, CBI, SEBI that facilitated and gave a 'clean chit' to the fraudster Mehul Choksi," Surjewala said.

The Congress leader said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met his Antigua counterpart Gaston Browne on the sidelines of the CHOGM Summit in Britain in April, but did not raise the issue of cancelling the citizenship granted to Choksi.

"These are not my words, it has been said by Antiguan Prime Minister in an interview on July 27. He said Indian government never approached them on this issue," Surjewala said.

 

  • Mehul Choksi